HE has moved to win next season's Betfred League One title with Cougars, but Jake Webster also wants to help forge lasting links with the Keighley community.

In a transfer which took many by surprise, Mick O'Neill and co pulled off a coup in persuading the 35-year-old Australian to switch from Betfred Championship side Bradford Bulls in a two-year deal.

Webster said there were many reasons for his switch to Cougar Park including re-uniting with his former Hull KR team-mate, Keighley head coach and fellow Aussie Rhys Lovegrove, but it was the chance to work among the town's community groups which really struck a chord.

Webster has already been billed as 'Captain Cougar' by O'Neill, a title he seems to have already taken to his heart. He says he is looking forward to visiting the town's schools, businesses and hospitals to spread the Cougars word.

He said: "It's exciting, in terms of how the club is getting perceived now and I want to be a part of it. I want to put them back on the map.

"Speaking to the owners, it was a great opportunity, on and off the field. I'll be working with the community, the kids.

"I played with Rhys (Lovegrove) at Hull KR for many years.

"I will try to help with development of players and I will just feel my way through it. Rhys has his agenda and I want to fit in. I will be giving advice and experience to the outside backs.

"Off the field, I will be in and among the community and much as I can, with schools and hospitals and get out and about.

"I think community work is looked over by 95 per cent of the clubs.

"I'm not a spring chicken anymore. It's very exciting after speaking to the board."

Webster says he and his new team-mates are fully focused on making a charge for next season's Betfred League title after his new side finished 2019 second from bottom, but quickly recovering from a 12-point pre-season deduction for a change of ownership.

They are set to return for pre-season training at the start of next month ahead of February's opener.

He added: "We want to be pushing the top end of the table.

"It's going to be a tough pre-season. We are going to work hard and hit the ground running.

"We want to push for the League One title and be up there. I think it's in our grasp."

He arrives at Cougars with a prestigious career already to his name. The son of a New Zealand Maori father and Greek mother, he played for the Kiwis and his club game has been dominated by spells in the NRL for Melbourne Storm and Gold Coast Titans between 2003 and 2007, before he moved to the UK to ply his trade with Hull KR, Castleford Tigers and York City Knights, before moving onto the Bulls.

He was the first Melbourne-born player to play for the Melbourne Storm and was a member of the inaugural Gold Coast Titans squad during the 2007 season.

Webster joins Cougars after a successful sole year at Bulls, where he scored 11 tries in 25 appearances.

He added says the Bulls fans' backing is even more important after the club's owner Andrew Chalmers announced he was selling the club. Webster believes his former side can build a successful future.

On Bulls, he said: "You never want to leave a club on these terms. When the opportunity came up it was one I couldn't turn down.

"Bulls fans are great. They have been supportive of the club through the bad times and supported me this year.

"I'm pretty sure the club will get back to it's glory days soon."

Gary Moorby, Cougars' head of rugby, says his club have recruited a stellar signing in Webster, adding it is a major coup.

He said: "Mick O'Neill and his fellow directors of the club have backed up their promise of bringing success to the club in securing the services of the former New Zealand international to Cougar Park.

"His presence in the changing rooms alone will inspire huge confidence among our younger players.

"I'm sure I speak on behalf of myself and Rhys when I say what a major coup this truly is for the club."