Potter to leave Bulls
Bradford coach Mick Potter has announced he is to leave the club and return to Australia.
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The 48-year-old former Catalan Dragons and St Helens boss has decided not to take up the offer of a new contract from the Bulls' new owners and has recommended his assistant Francis Cummins as his successor.
"I was always going to return to Australia and I feel that now is the right time for me to go," he said.
Potter was Super League Coach of the Year after guiding the Catalans to a third-place finish in 2008, 12 months after taking them to the Challenge Cup final, and he steered St Helens to the Grand Final in each of his two seasons at Knowsley Road.
Potter, who joined the Bulls on a two-year contract after leaving Saints at the end of the 2010 season, has been working without pay since being made redundant by Bradford's administrators on July 2.
The former St George full-back's reputation soared after guiding Bradford to the brink of their first play-off spot for four years in difficult circumstances caused by uncertainty over the financially-stricken club's future.
But for a deduction of six points, the Bulls would have finished sixth instead of ninth and new owner Omar Khan wanted Potter to continue.
Potter added: "I have enjoyed my time at the Bulls and the supporters and people at the club are second to none.
"I feel, too, that despite circumstances out of our control the team, through the rugby league we played, showed a lot of character in the midst of terrible adversity.
"Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe have come in and rescued the club and were very keen for me to stay for a longer tenure and I made it clear to them that my decision has nothing to do with their purchase of the club.
"It has been the things that have happened over the previous five months that have caused my decision.
"I will be watching Bradford Bulls with a lot of interest from Australia and it goes without saying that I wish them every success in the future.''
Khan, sole director of the new club OK Bulls Ltd, and honorary chairman Sutcliffe, a former Sports Minister, saw their takeover ratified by the Rugby Football League this week.
They are still waiting to find out whether the team will be allowed to stay in Super League but say Potter would have been offered a new contract.
In a statement, they said: "We are sorry Mick has chosen to leave because we wanted him to stay longer with us after the tremendous job he has done in difficult circumstances.
"He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the club and we wish him well in the future.
"We hope to be able to announce a new coach early next week.''
Potter believes that man should be former Leeds, Ireland and Great Britain winger Cummins, who has been his right-hand man over the last two years.
"I have recommended Francis Cummins as my successor,'' he said. "He has worked with me throughout my time at the club and in my opinion will become a very good first-team coach.
"Franny is a smart, intelligent guy in his own right. He made a trip to Australia to visit a number of NRL clubs last year and came back with a wealth of knowledge.
"Not only that, he's got a lot of other experience from his time at Leeds.''