Whitehaven Preview by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
The Keighley Cougars return to action this Sunday for the opener of this vital Kingstone Press Championship season against Whitehaven down at Cougar Park.
With the RFL getting the votes needed to push through a radical reshuffle of the system for 2015, Paul March knows his side have to achieve a top nine finish this season to achieve one of the ten ‘promotion’ spots for Super League Two.
But as last season showed, forty points will probably be needed this campaign to achieve the nineteen year goal of everyone associated with the club.
But the Cougars go into the home opener with the Cumbrian outfit looking to bounce back from the 30-0 defeat at Batley in the final friendly last Sunday.
The Cougars side will be significantly strengthened from last Sunday’s defeat with the return of many first team regulars.
Buster returns from suspension with Sean Hesketh, Andy Shickell and new signings Ash Lindsay and Paul Handforth also returning into contention for the Cougars.
Whitehaven Coach Dave Woods is looking for his team to nail a top six finish in 2014, a position that seemed very achievable last year until a late season slump in form.
This season has seen a big shake up in the Haven Squad with nine new signings and thirteen departures.
Shaun Ainscough will miss through suspension, however Lee Mitchell, Tom Carr, Samir Tahraoui and Papua New Guinea international Larsen Marabe are all expected to debut for the Marras at Cougar Park.
Elsewhere, the visitors haven’t offered deals to the five trialists who spent pre-season with the club.
Special offer online match day tickets and season tickets available here http://keighleycougars.com/online-store/