Diskin shocked at Bulls liquidation

Danny Bravo produced an impressive Batley debut against Dewsbury on Boxing Day.
Danny Bravo produced an impressive Batley debut against Dewsbury on Boxing Day.

Batley Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin admits he was devastated at the news his former club Bradford Bulls had gone into liquidation on Tuesday.

Diskin is a former Bulls captain and was assistant coach at Odsal last season before switching to Batley but the future of rugby league in Bradford was cast into doubt with club ceasing trading and all the players and staff been made redundant and are now free agents.

Batley were due to welcome the Bulls to Mount Pleaseant for their second pre-season game on January 15 but although there is some hope Bradford can re-form a new club, that fixture is now obviously in doubt.

The RFL have confirmed that if a new club in Bradford can be formed, they would be offered a place in the 2017 Kingstone Press Championship.

Batley will monitor the situation over the coming days but Diskin’s main focus is on the well being of those affected at Bradford.

Diskin said: “It is shocking and devastating what has come out at Bradford over the last couple of days.

“We just hope those boys can get back on their feet and get something in place for the future.

“I’m not overly concerned over the fixture and it won’t be detrimental to our season (if it doesn’t go ahead).

“It would have been a nice game to have as we look to improve on our errors from Boxing Day but the season is still three or four weeks away.”

Diskin will now focus the squad’s attention to fine tuning their skill work before the start of the new season, away to Toulouse on February 4.

Diskin added: “The bulk of the hard work of pre-season has been done and while January will still be pretty intense, the focus will be on mastering our systems before the new season.

“I thought the likes of Bravo, Hill and O’Sullivan all put their hands up on Boxing Day but everybody put their best foot forward.

“I’m not judgemental on Boxing Day, it was nice to get the win, but the game also highlighted processes and systems which we still need to work on and fine tune, although for 90 per cent, defensively, we looked very strong.”

If the Bulls game next week does not go ahead, Batley are unlikely to replace the fixture.

They face League One side Keighley Cougars on January 22 (ko 2pm), with their final pre-season game against Super League side Castleford Tigers on Friday January 27 (7.30pm).