Boxing day rugby league returns to Cougar Park as Cougars welcome Oldham RLFC to play in what should be a scintillating preseason friendly as both sides look to blow the Christmas cobwebs away and make a big impression ahead of the start of the commencement of the Betfred League 1 campaign in March.
A Look at Our Visitors
Roughyeds travel across the pennines for this fixture having overhauled their squad for the 2024 season. Only 8 players have been retained from last season which saw them finish 4th in League 1 and being beaten in a close encounter with North Wales Crusaders in the Playoff Semi Finals.
Oldham’s new-look squad boasts a wealth of experience including over 500 super league caps as well as international representation coming in the form of Kiwi Elijah Taylor and Jamaican flyer Mo Agoro, who will be more than familiar to the Cougar Park crowd having spent the last 3 seasons with Keighley.
Another new face for our visitors is Head Coach Sean Long who will be tasked with getting the best from what, on paper, looks like a very strong side with promotion ambitions.
Last Time the Sides Met
Cougars 62-0 Oldham 27/7/2022
An eleventh consecutive win for Cougars on the way to the League 1 title in 2022 saw Junior Sa’u and Eddy Pettybourne make their debuts for the home side. Cougars ran in 11 tries on a day to forget for Roughyeds.
How the Squads Line Up
Cougars: Oscar Thomas, Charlie Graham, Junior Sa’u, Adam Ryder, Dee Foggin-Johnston, Alex Bishop, Lewis Hatton, Kyle Kesik, Mark Ioane, Ellis Robson, Lachlan Lanskey, Dan Parker, Jack Miller, Jordan Schofield, Josh Lynam, Ben Stead, Aaron Brown, Matt Bailey, Ben Dean, Will Maher, Brandon Pickersgill, Codey Downey, Billy Walkley, Aaron Harlow-Stephenson, Liam Copland, Max Lambourne, Danny Salkeld*
Oldham:Mo Agoro, Logan Astley, Danny Craven, Jamie Ellis, Jack Johnson, Kian Morgan, Ben O’Keefe, Jordan Paga, Nick Rawsthorne, Jumah Sambou, Jordan Turner, Mackenzie Turner, Cian Tyrer, Kieran Tyrer, Bailey Aldridge, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Owen Farnworth, Brad Gallagher, George Hirst, Josh Johnson, Craig Kopczak, Adam Lawton, Pat Moran, Elijah Taylor, Joe Wardle, Emmerson Whittel, Matty Wildie.
A View From the Sidelines
Club photographer Jonny Tomes-Green provides an insight from his work behind the scenes this off season.
I’m not sure where the time has gone really but I’m writing this on the eve of my 4th year as part of the club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being more involved throughout off season since training started in November and for the first time since the covid affected 2021 season I’ve had to learn 20+ new names & faces to go with them.
It’s been fantastic to meet the new lads, I do get a bit shy when it comes to poking my camera in peoples faces outside of my comfort zone, which tends to be on matchdays, but the boys have been fantastic and it’s great to see such a diverse group come together and undergo preparations for the season.
I’ve been pleased to be able to get more involved with the sponsors side of things, providing a number of images for Brsk with their eye catching van on the pitch one night before training, as well as working with Steve to plan for how best to show off the new kit and provide all the pictures that we’ll need for social media/the website throughout the season.
All in all, I’m feeling very optimistic about the direction the club is heading in and hopefully getting a few good pictures of a competitive Boxing Day game!
11am Gates open for hospitality guests
12pm Turnstiles open – Cash turnstiles or tickets in advance
Club shop open in the ground with very limited stock of 2024 home shirts
It’s A Grind Coffee Truck open serving hot drinks and cakes
Sweet Treats serving up your sugar fix
Hall of Fame bar open pre-game
1pm Kick Off – Keighley Cougars v Oldham RLFC
Hall of Fame bar open post-game
There are no match programmes for this game.
PLEASE NOTE: The gents cubicle toilets outside are out of order and will be locked. The urinals are fine.