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James Feather reveals he is keen to coach at Keighley Cougars
James Feather, who is gearing up for his testimonial game this weekend, has set his sights on a career in coaching with Keighley Cougars when he retires.
The long-serving club captain was granted a testimonial by the Rugby Football League as reward for his outstanding decade’s service to his home-town club.
The current Keighley squad will take on a team comprised of great names from past Cougar sides on Sunday (2pm) to honour the club stalwart.
Many former favourites such as Barry Eaton, Craig Fawcett, Chris Bains, Phil Stephenson, Matt Bramald and Craig Moss are to be part of the Cougar All-Stars, coached by Paul Moses, who will doubtless want to give today’s stars a reminder of the Cougar-mania days.
Feather, 29, has spent his entire career with Cougars and, having previously worked as a builder, he has spent the past year working as a full-time project worker at Your Sporting Chance.
But the popular hooker, universally known as Buster, is also eyeing a move into coaching when he hangs up his boots in a couple of years’ time.
Feather said: “I’ll probably be stepping down as captain at the end of this coming season and hopefully spending more time learning the coaching role.
“I have captained the side for eight years, so this season will be my last before I concentrate on getting into the coaching side of things.
“I’m going to try and get them to put me onto some coaching courses and try and push on to that then. I definitely want to coach the Cougars one day.
“I’ve learned a lot from the likes of JD (Jason Demetriou) and Barry Eaton and I feel I’ve got a lot to offer.
“I’ve got my own ideas which I put to them when they were in charge.
“They subsequently used my ideas and they paid off. The way we played under JD was very similar to the way I would want to coach.
“I think I’ve got those leadership qualities with being captain for so long.
“I believe I could lead a team and have more impact as a coach than I would during my playing career, although my playing career hasn’t been too bad.
“There is nothing agreed at the moment but maybe during my next contract talks, I’d like to sit down with all the board and tell them my thoughts. I’d like my role with the club to continue after I finish playing.
“I’m thinking of retiring when I’m 32, so I’ve not long left.
“Even if I start at the bottom as reserve-team coach, that’s fine, as long as in some way I can be connected to the first-team and work my way up.”
Feather’s career started 20 years ago as an eight-year-old on the wing for Cougar Cubs before Moses signed him for the Cougars Academy as a 17-year-old. He soon graduated to the first team under Eaton and has played more than 200 games for the club in the last eight years.
He added: “I’m a Keighley boy and this testimonial means a lot to me because playing in the first-team for Cougars was all I ever wanted to do when I was growing up.
“My family brought me watching rugby at Cougar Park and to now be awarded a ten-year testimonial is unbelievable.
“There are not many players at our level with that sort of longevity of service.
“It’s very easy in the Championship for a player to move to another club for a bit more money.
“But Cougars is on my doorstep and I’ve never been tempted to go anywhere else.
“It’s been brilliant for me – I could finish work, have my tea and then go to training.
“I work on youth development at Your Sporting Chance which is connected to Cougars.
“I work for them promoting the club and working with difficult children – it’s a good job.
“I wish I’d had this opportunity at the start of my career because it’s given me the opportunity to train full-time – in the morning or afternoon when I get some spare time.
“After working as a builder on a freezing cold site for eight hours, you don’t really want to go training!
“My debut was right at the start of 2006 – away at Oldham – and I definitely have desire to play on for a few years yet.”
Meanwhile, Cougars’ friendly at home to Dewsbury has been brought forward to Thursday, January 23 (8pm).
Buster’s All Stars team: Matt Bramald, Craig Moss, Matt Foster, Karl Smith, Ryan Smith, Craig Fawcett, Barry Eaton, Phil Stephenson, James ‘Buster’ Feather, Chris Hannah, Chris Baines, Will Cartledge, Brendon Rawlins, Joseph Copperwaite, Danny Barrett, Ryan Benjafield, Mark Smith, Olly Pursglove, Jamie Stephenson, Tim Bibby, Chris Readfearn.
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