Australian utility departs League 1 club just weeks after signing due to homesickness

Ben Olawumi
Keighley Cougars, SWPix

Picture by Olly Hassell/

Keighley Cougars have confirmed the departure of Australian utility Josh Martin, who leaves the club through homesickness less than a month after joining.

New South Wales native Martin’s signing was announced by the Cougars on December 15, returning to the British game having previously appeared for Whitehaven in 2022.

That year, the utility back – who can slot in at full-back, centre and out on the wing – featured 19 times for the Marras and scored four tries as they achieved a 10th place finish in the second tier.

Martin wasn’t involved in Keighley’s Boxing Day friendly clash against Oldham at Cougar Park, with the club citing ‘registration issues’ as the reason why at the time.

Just 19 days on from joining the Cougars however, the League 1 outfit have confirmed that he will be returning Down Under, and won’t form part of Matt Foster’s squad for 2024.

Australian utility Josh Martin departs League 1 club Keighley Cougars just weeks after signing due to homesickness

The 26-year-old’s departure was announced via the club’s website this morning. Their brief statement reads: “Keighley Cougars are disappointed to announce Josh Martin has returned to Australia following his two-and-a-half week stint with the club.

“Josh cited homesickness and personal reasons for his return to Australia and the club were happy to accommodate a release from his contract.”

Keighley‘s Director of Rugby was the one to make a comment in the press release, adding: “Although Josh’s time at the club was extremely short and we are disappointed to lose a player, we do wish him well and hope he can find a space where he can get the required support he needs from his family at this time.”

Having lost out 46-10 to Oldham on Boxing Day, the Cougars take on Super League side Castleford Tigers and Championship outfit Halifax Panthers in further pre-season run-outs before kicking off their competitive games in the 1895 Cup group stages against Dewsbury Rams on January 28.

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