CRAIG Lingard has extended his Cougars contract by a further 12 months, meaning he will remain as head coach until the end of the 2019 season.

After joining Keighley from Batley Bulldogs ahead of the 2017 campaign, Lingard signed a two-year deal with the option to extend by a further 12 months, which has now been taken up by club chairman Gary Fawcett.

During his first year, Lingard won 12, drew two and lost 12 of his 26 games in charge as the Cougars finished seventh in League One and bowed out of both the League One Cup and Challenge Cup at the hands of Barrow Raiders.

Despite a disappointing defeat to the now defunct All Golds in March, Lingard oversaw a record-equalling home victory over Oxford and dramatic draws at Workington and at home to Toronto in the Super Eights.

He also got his hands on the Joe Phillips Memorial Trophy in January with a last-gasp victory over neighbours Bradford Bulls.

After introducing an exciting brand of rugby to Cougar Park, Lingard has overseen an overhaul of his squad for the second consecutive winter ahead of the upcoming 2018 campaign.

This has left him with a youthful squad designed to play the expansive rugby that Lingard expects from his sides.

He has shown his devotion to having a reserves side at Cougar Park by handing first-team debuts to Harry Aaronson, Aidan Scully and Gavin Reed during the 2017 season.

Lingard has also invited Calvin Barker and Luke Walters to train with the first team during this pre-season to date.

In extending his tenure by a further year, Lingard joins first-team duo Davey Dixon and Emmerson Whittel in pledging his future to the club for the next two years.

A Cougars statement said: "The club are delighted that Craig has extended his stay by a further 12 months and are looking forward to the next two years under his tenure."