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Keighley Cougars recruitment done unless big name on market
Gary Fawcett has described himself satisfied with how Cougars’ squad is shaping up and said further recruits were unlikely unless a “game-changing” player became available.
Keighley have made a number of signings during the off-season and they last week announced the acquisition of front-rower Lewis Graham from Huddersfield Giants and loose forward Ash Lindsay from Batley Bulldogs.
Their big-name recruit was Halifax half-back Paul Handforth but Fawcett said no further marquee signings were likely.
The Cougars chairman explained: “We have 31 players in the squad now and I think if we were to bring somebody else in then they would have to be a game-changer.
“It could be someone dropping down from Super League and we are always alert to that prospect.
“(Wakefield’s) Oliver Wilkes, for example, was a player we were interested in but Leigh came in with a better offer and he went there instead.
“That’s the calibre of player we would look at and it would have to be a marquee signing.
“But when I look at the squad overall we have got a very good core with strength in different positions.
“So if we were to sign someone it would have to be a player who would make all the other teams and the fans stand up.
“We did it a couple of years ago when we had Jason Demetriou, Sam Obst and Michael Korkidas in the team.
“In terms of creativity, I think we have plenty with Paul March, Paul Handforth and Danny Jones. Hopefully they can take advantage of playing in front of a dominant pack.”
Meanwhile, Cougars had sold around 150 season tickets during the early part of this week but were still aiming to hit the 300-mark by today’s early-bird deadline.
A major supporter of the club, who wishes to remain anonymous, has vowed to pour £3,500 of his own money into Squadbuilder if 300 season tickets at discounted prices are sold by October 31.
Squadbuilder is the brain-child of former player-coach Demetriou and allows fans to invest directly in the playing squad through a monthly subscription fee.
Fawcett said: “We remain hopeful of hitting the 300-mark and I think we will be close.
“I’m sure that a lot of people will come down and buy their season-ticket leading up to the deadline and with it having been pay-day for many people in the last few days.”
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