Bradford Bulls have unveiled their restructured backroom team in preparation for the 2015 season – with the most notable announcement the arrival of former Featherstone head coach John Bastian as the club’s head of youth.
England strength and conditioning coach Gary Dempsey has joined the club in the same capacity, whilst current Bulls captain Matt Diskin – who is retiring at the end of the season – will continue in a different role at the club, becoming Bradford’s under-19s coach for next season. And Bulls boss James Lowes expressed his delighted at all three appointments, saying the future is very much bright for the club with their new revamp behind the scenes.
“I am really pleased to have John, Matt and Gary on board,” said the Bulls chief. “To attract someone of John’s calibre to the club is fantastic for Bradford Bulls and I feel sure he will prove his worth over the coming weeks and months.
“In terms of Matt, I am really pleased to see him staying with the club in a coaching capacity. “He boasts a fantastic knowledge of the game and will be working hard with all of the players – first team included.
“The Under-19s are massive for the future of the club, as is our entire Academy system, so to have John and Matt at the helm is fantastic.”
Bastian previously held the role of head of youth at Warrington, and joins the Bulls just in time for their 2015 Championship campaign. He will front up everything associated with the club’s academy and scholarship systems, and says he’s excited to be working with such a highly reputable academy.
“I am excited by the challenge ahead, as Bradford boasts a first-class Academy,” said Bastian. “I am really looking forward to working alongside Jimmy (Lowes) and Matt (Diskin), producing the next crop of Bulls talent.
“Richard (Tunningley) has done some great work here, so it is purely a case of continuing those efforts while implementing my own philosophies. Working alongside Matt will prove beneficial, not only to the youngsters but to me as well.
“I have worked with him in the past and I know he has a great knowledge of the game. I have no doubts he will go on to become a successful coach.”