IN a double swoop, Keighley Albion have announced the head-turning signings of former Cougars professionals Jordan Aitchison and Brendon Rawlins for the 2021 season.

The duo will join up with their new Albion teammates in a few weeks, with the club confirming their pre-season will begin from March 29, in line with the latest Government guidance for organised sports clubs.

Aitchison began his career in the Keighley Cougar Cubs, where he was a stand out junior player, earning selection on to the Cougars Scholarship development programme.

In 2012, aged 19, he joined the Bradford Bulls U20s, and featured regularly throughout the campaign.

Unfortunately, due to RFL structural changes, the U20s system was scrapped at the end of the season.

Aitchison wasn’t a free agent for long, with then-Cougars head coach Paul March snapping him up on an initial one-year first team contract.

He played regularly for the Cougars Reserves side, and also had a spell at fellow League 1 outfit Hemel Stags.

‘Aitch’ returned to the Cougars first team ahead of the 2019 season, and on his long awaited debut, stole the show in a Man of the Match performance against Oldham, before scoring his first senior try for the club the following week in a home victory against the London Skolars.

Unfortunately, a hamstring injury sustained in the Skolars game would end his season prematurely.

The 2020 season was then cruelly over for Aitchison before it had even begun, after a routine heart screening revealed he had a previously undiagnosed heart condition that required an operation.

Aitchison would undergo surgery and make a full recovery, with the season ending due to the initial lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was announced in January that the Cougars would not be renewing Aitchison’s contract, and after a rollercoaster couple of years, he will be hungry to lace up those boots and finally get back to doing what he loves with Albion.

Rawlins first joined the Cougars in 2007, from Australian side Balmain Tigers.

The aggressive forward quickly became a consistent presence for the Keighley side, making more than 250 appearances, and scoring over 60 tries.

During his career, Rawlins established himself as a fan favourite on the Lawkholme Lane terraces.

He was a member of the Championship One promotion-winning squad in 2009, and helped the club repeat the success in 2011 under the guidance of now-South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach Jason Demetriou.

The Aussie was also a member of the Cougars team which won the iPro Cup in 2016 - the first knockout competition success for the Keighley side.

He celebrated his testimonial year with the club across 2017/18.

With both players having over a 10-year association to professional rugby league, it is hoped their influence at amateur level will encourage the engagement of young talent through the club and community.

It is also hoped the duo will elevate the standards of the club's first team, with the dream being for them to returning to National Conference League standard.

With full club training set to resume from March 29, Albion are welcoming new players of all experiences and all abilities.

The club have a full offering of age group teams, starting with their Albion Antz (three to six year olds), U7-U11s mixed gender age groups, U12-U16 boys, U12s-U18 girls, U18s men’s academy, and two open age men’s teams.

For more information on the club and on registering for 2021, please visit or message the club's Facebook page @keighleyalbion, or go to the club's website,