ALREADY a club legend, James Feather is enjoying his new lease of life as a Keighley Cougars player second time around.

The 34-year-old, nicknamed Buster, returned to the field this season after retiring in 2017 following 15 years at the club.

He accepted a position on the coaching staff under Craig Lingard for the 2018 season, but returned to training during its turbulent pre-season.

Feather joined the club in 2003 and went on to make his senior debut in a 2006 Northern Rail Cup defeat away at Oldham Roughyeds before being appointed captain by Barry Eaton the following season after the retirement of Phil Stephenson.

Feather says the club is heading in an exciting direction under the ownership of chairman Mick O'Neill and co, adding Cougarmania II has already gripped the town.

The former captain said: "It's been really good this season. I always used to train with the lads after I retired.

"It's gone from playing with a lot of my old mates, having a laugh, to the club nearly going bankrupt.

"We were training over pre-season not knowing if there would still be a Keighley Cougars. Mick O'Neill has come in and given a new lease of life to the club. I was too young at the time, but there has not been the same feeling in the town since the days of Cougarmania.

"Our goal is to finish towards that top six. That would be a massive achievement. The 12-point deduction was a kick in the teeth.

"I'm a realist, if the lads keep improving then I am happy to watch the team as a whole and I'm not bothered about where we finish in the league this season.

"We are improving week in, week out. We will see how we go this weekend."

Feather led the side through two promotions in 2009 and 2011, relegations in 2010 and 2014, administration in 2010 and the tragic death of Danny Jones in 2015.

In that time Buster made 304 appearances for Cougars and has scored 62 tries including hat-tricks in the emotionally charged home victory over Coventry Bears in May 2015 and again against the Hemel Stags later that year.

He has also played under four different head coaches and passed the milestone of playing alongside 200 different team-mates.

It is safe to say he has seen it all during his Cougars career, but Feather feels reborn under the current regime.

He added: "When the takeover happened, it quickly snowballed. We are improving all of the time. Apart from the likes of me and Jaime Thackray, we are a young squad. They are really keen to improve. They are all enthusiastic and always give 110 per cent in training.

"For about five or six years we had a core group of players. We were sat in the top six without pushing. The club had come to a standstill."

Feather has not ruled out prolonging his second playing spell as a Cougars player.

He said: "The players have been asking me if I will be playing next year already.

"I am enjoying my rugby and it has given me a new lease of life. But I will see how my body is doing in September. I'm 34 but age is just a number."