COUGAR coach Gary Moorby is busy rebuilding his squad ready to take on NL2 next year -- with the club determined to bounce straight back from relegation.

His priority is to re-sign most of the current team as he lays the foundation for the 2005 squad, but top performers Simeon Hoyle and Danny Ekis are heading to Australia to try their hands at the game Down Under. they will join Salford Reds star Gavin Clinch who is due to start a coaching career after hanging up his boots.

"Simeon and Danny have kept me informed of their plans, and although I am very sad they will not be lining up for Cougars next season I can understand why they want to go and sample life in Australia.

"Now my job is to find replacements and I am working on that right now," Moorby said.

Longest serving player, Phil Stephenson, was among the first to sign up to a new contract at Cougar Park. He had a tremendous season in 2004, but suffered the ultimate frustration of seeing his team relegated.

Matt Foster has been approached by other clubs and has asked for more time to make his decision. He left for New Zealand yesterday (Thursday) as part of the British Police rugby league team's tour alongside former Cougar Jason Ramshaw.

During the tour they will play a Canterbury Bulls team as a warm-up game before the First Test in Wellington. They will play a second Test in Rotorua followed by a match against Aukland Police and a third Test in Aukland.

Foster will be filing a regular column on the tour to the Keighley News to keep readers up to date with their progress.

Other members of the present squad who have already signed are: Richard Mervill, Matty Firth, Andy Robinson, Karl Smith, Matt Steele and Chris Roe.

"I am confident that we will retain most of the squad, but I am also working to bring in new faces and want to have a squad of about 26 players on the books for next season.

"It is important to have a decent squad of players to provide competition for places and to cover for injuries.

"We lost a lot of momentum last season when we hit the biggest injury crisis seen at the club in recent years. The young players did a superb job when they came in, but I don't think we ever fully recovered from that period," he said.

Although Moorby is playing his cards close to his chest it is understood that he is chasing a young Super League player to add to his squad and also has several other iron in the fire.

"We are obviously looking at a number of players at the present time, but we don't want to tip off other clubs before we have their signatures," he said.

n The club's annual awards night is to be held at Cougar Park next Friday (October 8) when one of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation of the Supporters Club 'Player of the Year' award.

After the presentations entertainment will be provided by local singer Paul Jeremy.

"Most of the players will be present and we hope all supporters will turn up to enjoy a superb evening," said a Supporters Club spokesman.