Keighley and Craig Lingard part company

​Keighley Cougars have parted company with head coach Craig Lingard ahead of Oldham’s visit to Cougar Park in a Betfred League 1 game on Saturday evening, kick-off 6.30pm.

He becomes the third League 1 team boss to lose his job this season, following changes at Newcastle Thunder and Workington Town.

Many people will be shocked to see Lingard go, given that the Cougars were in turmoil early in the year when it emerged that players and staff had gone unpaid under previous owners.

Several players left the club, including Ritchie Hawkyard, Scott Law and Emmerson Whittel, who came to Oldham.

Anthony Bowman and Adam Brook have also had Keighley connections in the past, although Brook is now on-loan here from Halifax.

Bowman played a one-off game for Cougars last year after returning from a spell in Western Australia, appearing at stand-off in the side that beat Roughyeds 15-8 at Cougar Park.

It was Oldham’s seventh defeat in a row at Cougar Park — definitely not a happy hunting ground for Roughyeds.

Despite the close-season turmoil and the RFL’s deduction of 12 league points, Lingard stuck with the club and, in his third year there, has guided a new-look squad to five wins and a draw from eight league games.

In normal circumstances they would now be third in the table behind Whitehaven and London Skolars.

In charge of the side against Oldham will be assistant coach Rhys Lovegrove and head of strength and conditioning Paul Royston, assisted by Gary Moorby in his role as director of rugby.

In a statement, the club said it was time to look elsewhere in order to take the club forward.

It continued:

“The club is very grateful for Craig’s contribution, often in difficult circumstances, and he will remain a very popular figure at the club.”

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