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Craven wants to be Cougars first choice
1:54pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
James Craven is relishing the challenge of establishing himself as Cougars’ first-choice full back next season following his arrival from Dewsbury on a one-year deal.
The 24-year-old has spent the past three-and-half years at his home-town club but is happy to move to Cougar Park after being frustrated at being left on the wing by Rams coach Glenn Morrison this year.
With doubts surrounding the future of Cougars full back Craig Moss, who has yet to agree a new deal with Paul March’s side, Craven is effectively the first-choice full back at his new club.
Craven, who works as a bricklayer in Bradford, said: “I’ve known Paul March for a long time as he was my coach at my amateur club at Thornhill, Dewsbury.
“I just need a change, a new start because I’ve been out of position this year, and coming to Keighley Cougars is about me playing full back.
“That’s the position I want to play, and Paul offered me that so I was delighted to sign.
“It’s gone okay for me at Dews-bury this season, but Glenn Morrison said he wanted me to play on the wing.
“He saw me as a winger and I didn’t like it but I had to play where he put me.”
Dewsbury also had a number of Bradford Bulls players coming into their squad on dual registration in a partnership which other Super League clubs and their Championship counterparts have since scrapped.
Craven, who trained at Hudders-field Giants’ Academy as a youngster, said: “I don’t think dual-registration is any good to be fair because it’s knocking lads out of position.
“It was just time for a change and I’m looking forward to becoming a Keighley Cougars player.
“Hopefully we can have a better year and be in contention for a play-off spot.
“I know Elliott Cosgrove from our time together at Dewsbury and I’m looking forward to meeting up with him and the rest of the lads for pre-season in Nov-ember.
“I just want to be in the team every week, and if I’m doing my job then there is no reason why I shouldn’t get picked every week.” The future of Moss, meanwhile, appears uncertain amid doubts as to whether he will sign for the club again next season.
The Wales full-back was Cougars’ player of the year in 2012 and came back from a shoulder operation sustained during pre-season to make his mark midway through the campaign just ended.
Moss, based in Knottingley, spoke earlier this year about the challenge of juggling his work commitments and family life with his rugby.
Player-coach March said: “We couldn’t wait to see what happened with Craig, so we had to get a replacement in.
“I’ve not written off Craig at all but James Craven will get the No 1 shirt and be first-choice full-back.”
March has also signed half-back Paul Handforth from Halifax and forward Jack Lee from Featherstone and is aiming for two or three more signings to complete his squad for the 2014 campaign.