Skipper believes in Cougar spirit

Keighley Cougars’ skipper James Feather, who has been sidelined with a depressed cheekbone fracture, believes in the spirit of the 2009 Cougars.

And he reckons that this valuable spirit will improve the Cougars’ chances of winning the Co-operative Championship One Grand Final when they face Oldham at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday (kick off 3.05pm).

“There’s no better club for team spirit in the game”, he said. “It’s an amazing thing and it’s helped us when we’ve been tight spots in several games this season.

“Everybody plays for each other and that’s been one of the features of our game this year.

“As a group of players we all get on well together and spend a great deal of time together when we have some spare social time.

“Oldham are a good team but I believe that if we can play to our full potential we can pull it off”.

Keighley-born Feather, known to everybody in Aire Valley Rugby League circles as ‘Buster’, played 111 consecutive games for the Cougars before his injury brought an end to the run.

He is a product of the Cougar junior development system having played for Cougar Cubs and Keighley Albion amateur club before signing as a professional with Keighley when he was 19 just six years ago.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” explained Buster. “When I joined them the club was literally at rock bottom.

“We were the bottom of the whole Rugby League and there was only one way we could go – and that was up.”

And that is just what has happened. Added Buster: “We achieved a mid-table position and then finished fifth last year.

“Now we’ve finished second in the table and reached the Grand Final. The club’s progressing all the time.

“Now we’re on the verge of our next achievement and it’s an exciting time”.

Buster is the leader of the pack as far as Cougars are concerned. The 25-year-old hooker leads from the front and is highly rated around the Championship world. And his absence from the team has been a blow.

“I didn’t know when I injured my cheekbone that it would put my place in the Grand Final in jeopardy. I’ve not had any pain since my operation so I’m making a good recovery”.

Buster has every respect for Oldham. “For me they’re the best team besides us in the play-off six and their results on the way to the Final have confirmed what I think,” he said.

“But we’re confident in our ability and it’ll be an interesting game for everybody concerned.

“Before the start of the season we made promotion one of our targets. Now we’re just 80 minutes away from achieving that ambition and we’re going into the Final in a very determined frame of mind.”

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