Ex-Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers star reveals why he signed for Bradford Bulls despite rival interest as he talks Mark Dunning’s signings

BRADFORD BULLS are heading for one of their most important seasons in the Championship since they dropped down to the second tier back in 2014.

Following a number of disappointing campaigns in the Championship, there is a good feeling around the place at Odsal following the appointment of Mark Dunning as head coach.

Dunning himself has been at the forefront of an intense recruitment drive which has seen the likes of former Super League players Michael Lawrence, Bodene Thompson and Jack Walker make the move to Bradford.

Another one of Dunning’s signings has been Tom Holmes, who spent the first-half of 2022 with Featherstone and the second-half with Sheffield Eagles, has revealed why he signed on the dotted line for the Bulls heading into 2023.

“If I’m honest there were a lot of clubs that were interested. Halfway through the year I parted ways with Featherstone and there were a number of clubs I could have joined towards the back end of the year but Sheffield was the right fit for me at the time.

“More clubs came in at the back end of the year which is sometimes nice because you feel wanted but it makes it a difficult decision.

“That being said, when I sat with Mark, the way he spoke about the club and the amount of good reports I’ve had from players who were already there and how excited they were for the next few years, it felt right for me.

“To be told that you are one of the main signings, I wanted to be part of something special and once I signed I knew I had made the right decision.”

Holmes has waxed lyrical about the young players in the Bradford squad with the new signings bringing the right mix of youthful enthusiasm and experience.

“He’s brought in a good combination of older heads like Michael Lawrence and Bodene Thompson and players who have been around the Championship a while like Brad Foster and some younger players like Jack Walker who is still only 22.

“I think he’s brought in great quality in, there is a good mix of players but I don’t think we’re done yet with recruitment either.

“I’ve been surprised by some of the younger boys as well. The place needed a revamp as the club wasn’t happy with how they’ve gone in previous years but we look in good shape, physically as well. We’ve got a good bunch.

“Obviously you’ve got George (Flanagan Jnr) who has signed for Huddersfield. Myles Lawford, for him it’s been good as he’s got three other halfbacks around him and he’s only going to get better with that experience around him.

“There have been players who have jumped in from reserves and it’s only helping us as a team because we are managing to get 13 v 13 on every session which is only going to benefit us.”