THE son of Keighley Cougars chairman Mick O'Neill says it's full steam ahead for the club as it looks to update and embrace technology for the 2019 version of Cougarmania.

Ryan O'Neill and his husband Kaue Garcia are part of the consortium which took over the Cougars last month. Both appointed directors, the technology entrepreneurs are said to be the first gay couple to part own a rugby league club.

But for O'Neill, 40, it was a chance to return home and, alongside dad Mick, revitalise the club he had happy childhood memories of during the Cougarmania era of the 1990s.

Ryan says following intense negotiations with former owners Austria Holdings and its representative Shane Spencer, they were shocked by the derelict state Cougar Park was in.

Now Ryan hopes to revive the days of Cougarmania but use up-to-date technology as they look to climb rugby league's ladder.

Ryan, who has lived in London for the last 18 years, said: "I have always come back up to Keighley every year.

"We had not been down to the ground since 1997. We did not know what state the ground was in. We were shocked by what we were confronted with, it was derelict.

"At the moment the ground needs so much doing to it. The turnstiles are 100 years old. We need to modernise.

"It's not going to be difficult getting it back to where it was. It's been done before. We know the mistakes we have made in the past.

"The world has moved on. We need to embrace changes in technology and hospitality.

"I was there as a teenager. I lived through it with my dad. I used to be the music man, using cassette tapes and having them lined up for when we scored. I'm not going to be doing that now.

"The past is the past and things have got to be done differently now.

"We have got to reach out to so many people that we have not thought of coming down to a rugby league game. The big thing is getting kids involved. It's totally about reaching out.

"We have go to get people not just from Keighley but from the outlying areas. We want to put Keighley on the map again.

"The consortium are all fantastic people with fantastic ideas. We have a WhatsApp group with the board. Mike Smith is an ideas factory, we all do it together.

"It is 100 per cent full steam ahead. Everyone is of the opinion that we can go into the top six. There's no reason why we can't do that.

"I go to China quite a lot for business but I am hoping to get to every home game and as many away games as I can this season. There is a real buzz and euphoria."

Ryan says his dad Mick has "sparked back into life" by being involved with the Cougars after being "dorment" for the last 20 years.

Ryan added he has been thrilled by the reaction to he and Kaue's involvement in the club has had from the people of Keighley and the sport. He said he even received a personal message of encouragement from Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

Meanwhile, Cougars, who have a blank weekend, have announced five new signings.

Prop Reece Williams has joined from Hemel Stags, fellow prop Jack Arnold has signed a one-year deal from Upton following his trial with the club. Veteran half-back Mark Barlow has also been recruited.

Winger Darren Forde has joined on a month-by-month loan from Featherstone Rovers.

Utility forward Lewis Wray has signed on a season-long loan from Wakefield Trinity.

He tweeted: "Really pleased to have signed a loan deal with Keighley. Can’t wait to get stuck in with the lads this season & run out at the famous Cougar Park! Exciting times ahead for the club!"

Cougars' third round Challenge Cup tie against Distington will be played at Cougar Park on Sunday, March 10 (kick-off 3pm).