Olly Pursglove relishing return for Keighley Cougars

Olly Pursglove

Olly Pursglove

First published in Sport by

OLLY Pursglove is aiming to play his part in Cougars’ survival bid after rejoining his home-town club ahead of last week’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Widnes.

The highly-rated second-rower (pictured), who progressed through the ranks at Cougar Park, played 70 minutes of the 56-6 defeat in his first senior action of the season.

He was offered a new one-year deal at the end of last term after being chosen by Paul March as the club’s player of the year for 2013.

But, with a part-time BSc honours degree in architectural technology to contend with, coupled with his job at Skipton Properties, Pursglove turned down the deal to focus on his studies and work.

His academic year finished last week, however, and Pursglove - who did not feature in Tuesday night’s 28-18 defeat at Whitehaven - returned to Cougars before being thrust straight back into action for the televised match at Widnes.

He said: “It’s good to be back with the lads. I just finished my course for this year last Thursday and I start back in September for another 12 months.

“It was a big game to come back for. To be honest I was a bit nervous and I would have preferred to have come back against a Championship side or even a couple of games in the reserves.

l Continued on Page 63 “I got thrown back in at the deep end but I enjoyed it.

“I played a friendly in January but other than that I had not played since the end of last season.”

Pursglove did not play in Tuesday’s trip to Whitehaven but seems certain to be involved again in the coming weeks.

He added: “I haven’t signed a contract as such yet but I think the offer that was put to me at the start of the season still stands.

“I almost signed that contract but, with my studying commitments, I realised it wasn’t fair on the club because I couldn’t commit to training and to games.

“I’m still working at Skipton Properties and have been there for seven years now.

“I’ve got twelve more months, starting in September, and then I’ll be finished. But hopefully I’ll be with the Cougars for the rest of the season now.”

There is greater depth and quality to Cougars’ squad this season as they bid to survive relegation from the Championship.

Pursglove admits he would love to play his part in keeping the club up.

“I looked at the signings that Cougars made in the off-season and there are a lot of proven players in the Championship,” he said.

“It’s good to play with the likes of Paul Handforth and Ash Lindsay .

“It’s my hometown club and I’ve come all the way through from the Cougars Cubs to the Academy to the first-team.

“It’s massive for me to and play my part in helping Cougars stay up.”

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