KEIGHLEY Cougars are launching a second chance initiative as they continue their preparations ahead of the 2020 Betfred League One season.

The club, now under the stewardship of new head coach Rhys Lovegrove, is looking at ways to improve its squad ahead of next year with the Cougars targeting that all-important promotion to the Championship.

And the latest way they plan on doing it is through the second chance initiative, which is the brainchild of the club’s coaching staff as a way of assisting Lovegrove in his recruitment.

The initiative will see players being released from the Under-19s competition at Super League level invited to an open trials day at Cougar Park in which they, as well as their families and partners, will be welcomed and presented with an opportunity to meet the directors, staff and volunteers of the club.

Those who attend will then take part in an open training session which will allow both Lovegrove and head of performance Paul Royston to assess the players abilities both and off the field with the opportunity to be offered a contract by the club for the 2020 season.

The different way of scouting and recruitment of players with this initiative is exactly the sort of way that the former Hull Kingston Rovers player believes makes Keighley stand out from the crowd.

“It’s something that’s different from the norm,” said Lovegrove.

“I’ve said that I want the Keighley Cougars to stand out, be different and break the stereotypes that are connected to League One clubs by those at the higher levels of the game.

“My goal next year is to challenge to win this comp, and to do that I need to have players that have the intelligence which allows me to teach our systems and structures so that they can get straight into things from the moment we return to pre-season in early November.

“Player recruitment has already started and the advantage of the 12-point deduction means we can treat the remainder of this year as sort of a mini pre-season to build for next season.

“This is the opportunity for players who weren’t in my thoughts or plans in regard to recruitment to prove themselves and earn a contract with the club and develop as a player in the way the likes of Jack Arnold and Dom Horn have in our system this year.”

Any player interested in the initiative is encouraged to contact the Cougars on 01535 606044 or via email at