He was already contracted for next season, but with the expectation that he would become hot property on the open transfer market, the Bradford Bulls acted swiftly – re-signing talented back-rower John Bateman, until the end of 2015.
Bateman, who at just 19 has international accolades to his name already, having captained the English Academy side, said that he is pleased with the new deal.
â€œItâ€™s been a long time waiting with whatâ€™s been happening at the club and Iâ€™m really happy to get it sorted. Thereâ€™s a security here now and everyone knows whatâ€™s going on,” Bateman said.
â€œPeople have been asking me where Iâ€™m going, but from day one Iâ€™ve always said I want to stay at Bradford. Hopefully Iâ€™ve given the fans a bit back of what theyâ€™ve done for me.â€
Francis Cummins, the current Bulls coach, says that the re-signing of Bateman signals the club’s intentions when it comes to recruitment.
â€œItâ€™s a huge signing. It sends out a signal of the ambition of the owners at the club, not just to our own fans, but the game as a whole. They pledged that theyâ€™d invest in youth and keep these good young people, and weâ€™ve secured one of the hottest properties in the game at the moment,” said Cummins.
Weâ€™ll get other people in, maybe foreign stars when we get going, but the foundations will be set by John, Elliott Whitehead and Tom Olbison whoâ€™ve been here since they were kids. Thatâ€™s how we will take this club forward.â€
Omar Khan, the Bulls owner, is also pleased with the re-signing of Bateman, but says that fans must come out in support of the side, if they are to flourish in the future.
â€œWe have shown our commitment to the club by securing for Bradford Bulls the future of one of Rugby Leagueâ€™s finest young talents,” said Khan
“John is key to what we want to achieve at the Bulls and we want him to be here for the rest of his career, but we need the support of fans in this. They showed last year just how committed they were to the club in the difficult period, but we need them now more than ever as we look to take the Bulls to a new level.”
“I urge everyone who is a fan of the club to purchase a Season Ticket for the new season as soon as possible and that will enable us to continue to build a squad that we are sure will be a successful one in the future. Without the support of the fans and businesses in Bradford, we cannot move the club forward.â€