BullBuilder – the Bulls Supporters Trust has regular meetings with Head of Youth Development John Bastian in order to understand the best ways it can assist with youth development. BullBuilder caught up with John this week, and he gave an update on progress with the Bulls Academy Teams.

“We’re making steady progress this year but building a successful academy takes time. It can’t be done overnight and here at Bradford the challenges that faced the club in recent years have meant we’ve a lot of work to do.”

Building sturdy foundations in the Academy is very important and John emphasises what the values of the Bulls Academy are about.

“Building the right culture is key. Providing the right moral leadership, building consistency in approach to everything we do and having good discipline. That applies across the board from staff to players. With the right environment and culture in place we can then move forward.”

The next few years are going to be very important for youth development. The number of ex Bradford academy players playing in Super League for other clubs is not lost on John Bastian.

“It’s not just about attracting the right talent – it’s about retention of players. A key factor in retaining players is making sure your group of players has a winning culture so people want to stay. In order to do that you need depth in your squad. This year we have players coming through their first year in the under 16s who we think will progress. Some will be coming in to do extra training so that they’re more advanced when they get to the Under 19s.”

“Each year the U19s will get a better intake as the U16s get the benefit of being properly channelled in that direction. Each player we identify that moves up will get extra assistance in skills, technique, tactical awareness, strength and conditioning. As each year’s intake moves up we’ll get layers of quality in the U19 squad that will eventually break into 1st team rugby.”

BullBuilder continues to be active in supporting the Academy and you can help too. On Wednesday 3rd June Bullbuilder is hosting a “Dinnertime in the Park” auction and raffle at the Pavilion Café in City Park, Centenary Square in Bradford. 50% of all proceeds will go toward BullBuilder’s aim of assisting the Academy. The event begins at 7pm is £20 per person, with £10 of each ticket going to BullBuilder. Tickets are available from the Bulls ticket office or Pavilion Café reception or email info@performancedg.com or ring 07958 728490.

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