COUGARS bounced back this week as businessmen Neil Spencer and Colin Farrar joined forces to launch a new club -- and charge onto the come-back trail.

Last night (Thursday) they were holding talks with coach Steve Deakin in a big to attract him back to Cougar Park, but know they have to stick to a very tight budget and fear they may not be able to lure him back to Keighley.

"It is not only about the amount of money we can pay a coach, but the money we can afford to pay for players and other coaching staff.

"We have worked out a limit and we have to stick to it. We have to stick to it when appointing a coach and we will have to stick to it throughout the season and resist pressures to spend just a little bit more to attract another player.

"We are starting from scratch, and although Steve is our Number-1 target, but I'm afraid that what we can offer might not be enough."

After a nail-biting weekend the liquidators reached a new agreement with the two-man consortium on Tuesday and within hours the job of rebuilding the club go underway.

The first appointment was Jeremy Potter, a behind the scenes worker at Cougar Park over the last few months, who helped to put together the consortium's bid. He provided details of what it will cost to run a pro club and is currently preparing a new business plan which will be presented to Rugby League along with an application from Keighley Cougars 2001 to join the new Rugby League set up.

They will join a new-look league which is due to revert to a three division set-up with the Northern Ford Premiership divided into two divisions. It is expected that the 'New Cougars' will get a place on the lower rung of the professional game.

"That will not be a bad thing as we are working to set up a new club and a new team. We will have a great opportunity to enjoy success at the lower level and build on solid foundations for the future.

"We have been in the Third Division before and a lot of people will remember the championship campaign we had to win the league in the season that it was disbanded, we can work our way up once again," Neil Spencer said.

His partner, Colin Farrar is to take over running of the Cougar Park bar complex. He works alongside many of the big breweries making and renovating beer pumps in his business and for many years also owned and ran Haworth Old Hall hotel.

"The facilities at Cougar Park should be able to bring a lot of money into the club, but they have been seriously under-used in the past. I will be able to put my experience to good use making them popular venues once again," he said.

He will be joined by a bar manager who has worked at the club before.

The other key employee who has already returned to the club is groundsman David Marshall who has already started getting the pitch ready for a new season.

"We have been running around getting basic jobs done, but there is till much to be done before everything is up and running," Mr Spencer said.