PETER ROE will be 'back home' behind the Cougar Park coach's desk on Monday - and faces a race against time to build a team for the 2006 season.

His first job will be to speak to members of the out-going team and see who will fit in with his plans for the future, but already several key players have moved on. Forward Danny Murgatroyd and Australian Daniel Harvey have signed for Dewsbury and others are reported to be in the final stages of talks.

"We are already behind the other clubs and it is going to be a very strong division next year. Everybody has been strengthening their squads and Featherstone will be favourites to go straight back up to NL1," Roe said.

He added: "Gary Moorby will be a tough act to follow. He got the club promoted and then lost several influential players, including Oliver Wilkes, Ian Sinfield and Jason Ramshaw.

"My mission statement is that youth will be given its opportunity.

"The club has a very good Academy system with some good young players coming through - and they will get their chance."

Club chairman Neil Spencer offered the job to Roe on Tuesday, and the former Keighley player and coach immediately accepted. He was stand-in player coach from Setpember 1985-86, taking over when Geoff Peggs was taken ill with cancer.

He later took up the job as head coach in September 1991 and helped launch the club's 'Cougarmania Years' leading the club to its first silverware in 90 years, when they won the Division Two championship in the 1992-93 season.

"That Good Friday evening against Batley is still one of the most memorable of my career. When I took over the club needed a kick up the backside and we built it up from nothing," he said.

Shortly after taking over Roe signed Joe Grima who was coming to the end of his career at the top of the game, but he knows it will be almost impossible to repeat that move.

"Signing Joe was a historic moment for the club, because he was a leader on and off the field, but the gap between the top clubs and clubs like Keighley is now so great it wouldn't be possible to do something similar today.

"We other good finds, including Martin Wood who went on to play Super League and Jason Ramshaw who was part of the backbone of the club for over 10 years."

His task now is to find a group of young players captable of reaching the play-offs in next year's competition.

"I haven't been sleeping since I left Barrow a month ago, I go to watch a rugby league or Union match every weekend - and I have had my eyes open."

Roe has been given a full time contract and he is planning to get involved in other aspects of the running of the club.

"I have learnt a lot during me years with other clubs, including Wakefield in Super League, and I will be working with sponsors and together with MattFoster and Jeremy Crowther in the community.

"It is a big job, but I am looking forward to getting started," he said.

Mr Spencer added: "He was the first coach to give us some silverware in 90-years when he won the Division Three championship, he knows the young players in the area - and he is the ideal man to sell the club to the town again."