Bradford Bulls have signed Castleford forward Steve Crossley on a two-year deal, with Crossley leaving the Tigers to join the Bulls with immediate effect.
The 24-year-old former Bulls Academy star is back following a four-season spell away, having enjoyed stints with Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers and, most recently, Castleford Tigers.
Crossley has opted to leave the Tigers, the club he joined prior to the start of the current campaign, enabling him to become a Bull once again – until at least the end of 2016.
The former Clayton amateur, who was born and raised in the city, admits he had little hesitation in agreeing to commence a second spell at Odsal.
“When I heard the Bulls were interested in securing my services, as part of an initial loan deal, I jumped straight at the opportunity,” explained Crossley, who made more than half-a-dozen Super League appearances in Bulls’ colours after breaking into the first team.
“The option then came for Bradford to take me on a permanent basis and it was something I did not take too long to think about. It was an easy decision for me and I am very excited.
“This is where I grew up and this is the club I supported as a boy, I feel as though I am coming home. It is a dream come true for me and, believe me, it is going to show in my performances.
“Bradford is too big of a club to be playing outside of the sport’s top flight, the level which I believe we, together, can get back to for 2016 and beyond.”
Crossley is set to make his second Bradford bow this weekend when James Lowes’ side tackle winless Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“Steve is a solid prop-forward, with Super League experience and he never really wanted to leave Bradford,” added Lowes, who is sponsored in the memory of Joyce Dobby.
“Things weren’t happening for him at Castleford but he is a strong ball-carrier and certainly adds some great competition to our front row.
“Whatever happened between him and Castleford is their business, but he wasn’t happy there and we got an opportunity to bring him back here.
“When good players become available you have to put yourself in a position to be able to act upon it. I am pleased to say we have done that.
“I see Steve joining us as a big step forward for both him and the club.”
Crossley added: “The paperwork is pretty much complete for me to make an appearance on Sunday, so hopefully I will get the nod from Jimmy (Lowes).
“This is where I truly belong. This is the club I want to settle down at and play my rugby for.
“I have come back home and I will do anything to make the Bulls as successful as possible.”