KEIGHLEY hope to be boosted by the return of several players next season who have had long-term injuries.

The Yorkshire Division One club are set to welcome back hookers Will Armitage and Declan Hampson after knee reconstructions, while centre Adam Horsfall should be back in the fray after what seems like a catalogue of injuries.

In addition, back-rower Josh Hannah should be freer to play after police duties.

"These are big plusses," admitted Keighley's head coach Dave Duxbury.

Keighley have also signed loose-head prop Luke Currie from Skipton, which Duxbury says "will bolster us".

However, on the flip side of the coin, the men from Rose Cottage have lost prop Sam Booker to Wharfedale and hooker Ryan Gibson to Ilkley.

The fixtures are now out, and Keighley have what Duxbury calls "an interesting start".

They host Bradford Salem in a derby on Saturday, September 1 and then travel to newly-relegated Dinnington before another home derby against Old Crossleyans on September 15.

"The fixtures are a nice balance," said Duxbury, "but instead of having most of our home games after Christmas, we have most of them before (eight before, five after)."

The return trip to Salem wraps up the season on April 13, while there are also derbies against Crocs, Old Brodleians, Moortown, Old Rishworthians and Heath.

Duxbury has also realised that a more expansive style of play earns rewards in Yorkshire One.

He said: "I am more confident as a coach and a year wiser, and York, who went up last season, were ambitious, Scarborough, who went up via the play-offs, were ambitious, and Beverley, who finished fourth, were ambitious."

Maybe Keighley's artificial grass pitch will help them in that regard, but, as Duxbury says: "Teams train a lot more on artificial pitches these days."

One addition to the grounds will be an electronic scoreboard, whose corporate sponsors are Hansons Furnishers and Paceline Cycles, while 50 individual sponsors each coughed up £100 to have their names put on individual bricks.

Duxbury said: "We are going to host several county junior matches next season, and it wouldn't quite fit with the new facilities were we still to have tins numbers and an old scoreboard.

"The next thing to do is to try and get the clubhouse used more often."