Highly-rated tennager John Bateman signs new three-year deal with Bradford Bulls
Bradford Bulls youngster John Bateman has pledged his future to the club by penning a new three-year contract.
Last Updated: 05/10/12 9:16am
The highly-rated 19-year-old, who was shortlisted for Super League player of the year, had attracted interest from a number of clubs.
However, administrators running the club in the summer ignored lucrative offers for the second-row forward and he has now signed a deal that will keep him at Odsal until the end of 2015.
Bateman had 12 months remaining on his current deal but was happy to sign an extension following the takeover by Omar Khan's consortium.
"It's been a long time waiting, with what's been happening at the club and I'm really happy to get it sorted," said Bateman, who captained the England Academy squad on their trip to Australia earlier this year.
"There's security here now and everyone knows what's going on.
"People have been asking me where I'm going but from day one I've always said I want to stay at Bradford. Hopefully I've given the fans a bit back of what they've done for me."
Bradford's new head coach Francis Cummins feels they have sent out a signal of intent with the announcement.
"It's a huge signing," said Cummins, who has succeeded coach of the year Mick Potter.
"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."
Bateman is the second player to re-sign for the Bulls, following Chev Walker's renewed commitment, but they have lost a host of other players, including Tom Burgess, Bryn Hargreaves, Ian Sibbit, Ben Jeffries, Olivier Elima, Jason Crookes and Craig Kopczak.