Eaton rejects Rams and signs new deal

6:21pm Friday 23rd May 2008

By Dave Craven

Cougars boss Barry Eaton has ignored the advances of Dewsbury Rams and committed his long-term future to Keighley after being assured about where the club is heading.

National League One Dews-bury - where Eaton enjoyed such success as a player - had offered to make him their new coach, having sacked Andy Kelly.

Eaton admits he was tempted by the proposal but, after detailed talks, has now decided to remain with the National League Two table-toppers until the end of 2012.

His original contract was due up at the end of next season but Eaton - who takes his side to Workington tomorrow - said: "I'm delighted to now be committing my long term future here.

"It has been a very hard decision to come to as, after speaking to Dewsbury's Mark Sawyer, I realised he had genuine aspirations to make them into a successful club.

"It would have been a great opportunity and whoever gets the coaching role there is going to have a super chance to work at a great club.

"However, I am sure I have made the right decision and wish to thank Neil Spencer and Colin Farrar for giving me my first coaching role here at Keighley.

"They have given their full support to get Keighley to where we are and to keep improving to make us a big club over the next few years.

"I would also like to thank the club's supporters and sponsors for their fantastic backing which again played a big part in my decision to stay.

"I'd now urge them all to keep getting behind the club so that we can all realise our ambitions over the coming years."

Eaton, 34, has been in charge for the last two years and general manager Helen Carter added: "We are really pleased that Barry has chosen to stay and finish what he has started.

"The season is proving very successful for us so far and we wouldn't have wanted to see Barry and the lads' hard work go to waste.

"Barry had meetings with myself and the chairman this week and stated he wanted to stay but Dewsbury had put a really good offer to him.

"Obviously we don't have the amount of cash that a club like Dewsbury has to offer but we reassured Barry we've numerous commercial initiatives in place and a sound business plan.

"That will provide the funding he needs to continue providing the club and the people of Keighley with a winning team.

"There is also extra RFL funding next year that will allow us to build a secure infrastructure to enable us to build the business and continue our promotion push and aims for the club to be at the top of National League One.

"With all this in place we need the people of Keighley to now get behind us and Barry, support the team by coming through the gates and help us put Keighley Cougars at the top where we deserve to be."

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