BENN Hardcastle says Matty Beharrell put in a good word for Cougars to help persuade him to move to the club.

Hardcastle joined Keighley in September, leaving Newcastle Thunder after becoming their all-time top points scorer.

And he says the move only accelerated after he spoke to Beharrell, who he played with for two years on Tyneside.

"I was attracted by the results the club were having earlier on in the season and the fact that they were playing well," Hardcastle explained.

"I know a few of the lads too, like Matty Beharrell. I played with Matty at Newcastle so I spoke to him and he had big 'raps' for the club, the coaching staff and the players here, so it just went from there really."

Playing with Beharrell again was certainly another attraction for Hardcastle. The pair helped the Thunder to the play-off semi-finals back in 2014, in a season that ended with Beharrell scooping the Young Player of the Year award.

"He's a great player Matty, you've just got to keep him under control now and again because he does some daft things!" Hardcastle joked.

"When he plays well, he really plays well, which he proved when he was at Newcastle and won that award.

"That takes some doing. He's a great talent."

But Hardcastle, who hails from Hull, is particularly excited about being a lot closer to home than he was in the North East.

"It's a long way from Newcastle – around a 300-mile round trip which takes about three hours on the train. Not getting home while midnight and then getting up the next day for work is quite tough," he said.

"But it's half the distance to Keighley so I've got a bit more energy."

With that added burst from the shorter journey, Hardcastle is hoping he has plenty to add to the team.

"I'm looking forward to getting started," he said.

"Newcastle have a good set of fans who follow the team everywhere, and I'd like to think it'll be the same here at Keighley.

"I've been playing consistently at a club for three or four years in this league, and I've got a bit of experience of the Championship, so I've got quite a few games under my belt which I can bring to the team."