KEIGHLEY Cougars can today confirm we have successfully applied to join the Rugby Football League’s England Talent Pathway (ETP).

As an ETP accredited partner, the club will be allowed to focus on players aged 12-16 based on the principles of open access and development of each individual.

The player pathway developed will support both boys and girls in the age bracket listed above in order to produce players long term for both the Keighley Cougars men’s and ladies first teams.

Head of Rugby Andrew Henderson said of the successful application: “Our aim as a club is to support inclusion and the development of players, coaches and people.

“Being granted ETP status as a club by the RFL demonstrates another opportunity to deliver on this ethos and will form the first stages of our player development pathway.

“Personally, I want to see Keighley Cougars further strengthen the links and partnerships within our community.

“We want to work with our fantastic community rugby league clubs in our area along with some brilliant schools that are currently engaged in our Cougars Foundation rugby programme. It will be exciting to see the next emerging talent coming through our very own system.

“Our current first team assistant coach Dean Muir will lead on this programme, which will not only seek to develop young players but also develop coaches within the programme and the wider community.

“Dean has a passion for youth and coach development along with excellent knowledge of the local area.

“I look forward to supporting Dean, the programme and growing our development plan for the future.”

Phil Jones, Talent Inclusion Manager at the Rugby Football League, added: “It is brilliant that Keighley Cougars have become an England Talent Pathway Partner, with Dean Muir leading the project with the knowledge and support of Head of Rugby Andrew Henderson.

“The club have shared a clear and realistic Player Pathway plan which includes ETP delivery as a key element, I am excited that their vision is innovative and is looking to increase the playing numbers in the area alongside providing support to coaches and talented players.”

England Talent Pathway is an inclusive programme and the first step of the England Player Pathway. The programme is delivered through Club Foundations, Community Clubs, Professional Clubs and Schools.

The “scheme of work’ is a programme of Coach Education, based around 24 blocked coaching sessions that can be used and adapted to meet the needs of young players at any stage, providing holistic development.

For more information on the England Talent Pathway (ETP) at the Keighley Cougars, please contact Dean Muir on

By Joshua Chapman