HUNDREDS of schoolchildren from throughout the Keighley district and Lancashire have been invited to Cougar Park for their 'Opening Day' clash with Saddleworth.

Club skipper, Jason Ramshaw, has visited dozens of schools throughout the area with free tickets and a challenge to produce a banner supporting the Cougars in their Challenge Cup clash with the National Conference League team.

"The response has been fantastic and I would like to thank all the schools for the help they have given. There should be a superb atmosphere at Sunday's game," Jason Ramshaw said.

Saddleworth gave their backing to the ticket-giveaway and complimentary tickets have also been sent to schools in their area.

The club was also able to celebrate coming out of Administration after 14 months when the High Court gave the go-ahead on Tuesday afternoon.

An exciting young player is also being lined up to make his debut in the game as part of his trial period with the club.

The 19-year-old was being prepared for a career as a super-fast athlete, but switched to playing rugby union at Newport in South Wales. Now he is looking to move to rugby league because he thinks the game will give him more chance to break away and use his blistering speed.

He has recorded a personal best 100m time of 10.5secs which compares with Nick Pinkney's personal best of 10.9secs.

"He has been recommended to us because of his speed and is with us for a couple of weeks on trial. I may be that I will consider playing him against Saddleworth to give him experience and to allow me to assess him in a game situation," said coach John Kain.

Kain has told his players to forget about the opposition and concentrate on getting the best out of their own games.

"Our focus for the weekend is on personal performances, we should be doing the simple things well and concentrating on our defensive performance so that we get involved in the collision elements of the sport as much as possible.

"We won't be looking to be over-embellished, but will be playing the game at pace without taking any risks.

"We should be over-concerned about the opposition at this level or that shows a lack of confidence in our own abilities as professionals - if you worry about the opposition that is just a distraction," John Kain said.

He added that the Challenge Cup was not going to be a priority for the team.

"Last year we were really up for the cup and reached the quarter-final, but it destroyed the rest of the season. It would be nice to beat Saddleworth and then get a big club - my dream draw would be Bradford at Bradford!"

l The Supporters Club are to provide a special service to Cougar fans who have difficulty getting to matches.

They have two tickets for every home game and plan to invite people to the ground as 'Special Guests' for a day.

Now they want to hear from the elderly, people recovering from illness, the disabled or their carers. "We aim to make it a special day out and will provide transport if it is needed and someone to be with them throughout the afternoon," said a Supporters Club spokesman.

Now they want nominations for people to take advantage of the scheme.For full details contact Noel Copeland on 01535-275488 or Jack Templeton on 01535-661930.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.