John Kear believes Bradford sent a message out to the rest of the Championship following their 26-16 triumph over Halifax.
The Bulls were deserved victors over their local rivals, who are expected to compete at the top of the Championship once again in 2019.
An assured performance saw Bradford run in five tries in a display that saw debutants, youngsters and established stars all impress.
The Bulls will play Dewsbury in the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Cup on Saturday, but having overcome the favourites for the competition, Kear claimed the result validated their play-off credentials.
“We wanted to put a marker down today to say we’ll be competing for those play-off spots and I think the players did that,” he said.
“I think we can say this was an eight out of ten job but there are still things we can get better at. It was a real good, solid, competitive workout for both teams. But we’ve certainly got something out of it because we’ve played an elite Championship team and we’ve got something out of an elite Championship team.
“But we’ve still got plenty of pre-season to do. We’re delighted to be in the semi-final and we’d love to go ahead and win the whole thing, but the main thing is we beat Featherstone on February 3rd, that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Kear reserved particular praise for several of his side’s youngsters, along with debutant Rhys Evans, who produced an outstanding try-saving tackle in an overall solid outing.
“When Halifax got us on the short side I was half writing four points down in my book, but Rhys came across and it was just absolutely exceptional. The strength he used to hold the player up over the line. That’s what he can do. He showed people how good he is, his work rate was exceptional. He will get better, I’m really pleased with what I saw from him.
“I’m absolutely over the moon with Alix Stephenson, Josh Rickett, Oliver Wilson and Matty Storton, he’s just unbelievable. So I’m really pleased with us as a group, but really delighted with the young men who are putting so much pressure on the more established players.”
Leading into the season, expectations are high around Odsal, with victory over their local rivals only set to further heighten hopes on the terraces.
Kear admitted he felt the same as the supporters.
“There is an air of positivity I’d like to suggest. It was great, to look out on that terrace, there must have been a fair few for what essentially is a trial game. There’s been a fair few here for us and I think it does indicate the potential in this club.
“There’s an air of positivity, an air of excitement, and I’m excited and positive about it too. This has whet my appetite even more.”