Keighley Cougars appoint head coach: Club legend makes return after a decade coaching in Australia

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Foster Keighley Cougars

Matt Foster has been appointed as the new Keighley Cougars head coach

Keighley Cougars have appointed a new long-term head coach in the shape of club legend Matt Foster as they Cougars look to avoid relegation from the Championship.

The 47-year-old former centre or full-back spent 11 of his 13 seasons of his playing career at Cougar Park, scoring 125 tries in 231 appearances for the club.

Foster has spent the last 10 years as a coach in Australia with Queensland Cup side Burleigh Bears, helping the club’s first team and A Grade reach six Grand Final appearances.

Foster said: “This all happened within 36 hours or so.

“I’ve been following Keighley this season from the Gold Coast and when the phone call came through last week it was a fairly quick and easy decision for me to make.

“I am looking forward to meeting the players and understanding their strengths and weaknesses as well as reintroducing myself to the fans.

“I left in 2007 and I still see the hardened followers on social media and I am just looking forward to getting my hands dirty and getting straight in with the boys to create a positive end to the season.

“The opportunity to coach at Keighley is something I dreamed of 15 years ago when I left to Australia.

“These opportunities don’t come around very often and I am happy to be on board with the team.”

Jy-mel Coleman departs Keighley Cougars with club’s ‘best wishes’ as they welcome back Matt Foster

Foster, who is third in Keighley’s all-time try scorers, takes over the head coaching reins from Jy-mel Coleman, who was in charge on an interim basis.

Cougars chief executive Ryan O’Neill said: “Firstly I just want to thank Jy-mel for stepping in to cover the interim head coach role.

“Jy-mel has handled himself professionally and in the toughest of circumstances has done the job we asked him to do and for that the club will be ever grateful.

“Our search for a permanent head coach has come to a conclusion and I look forward to welcoming Matt back to Cougar Park.”

The club say Jamaica international Coleman steps aside with the club’s best wishes. Dean Muir steps ups to to a full-time role alongside current assistant coach Jordie Hedges with immediate effect.

Club legend James Feather, who joined the coaching staff on a voluntary basis, has left due to his full-time job taking up much of his spare family time and leaves with the club’s best wishes.

Foster will take charge of Keighley for the first time in Sunday’s Championship clash with Widnes, 3pm kick-off.

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