RHYS Lovegrove says he can't wait for the new season to start after a busy recruitment drive at Keighley Cougars.

The head coach has brought in 10 new signings this pre-season ahead of an assault on the upper echelons of Betfred League One after finishing second from bottom in 2019.

Lovegrove's excitement has build for 2020 after seeing the likes of Jake Webster and the return of Ritchie Hawkyard sign up for a spell at Cougar Park.

The young Australian boss insists his side will play a unique brand of expansive rugby league, which he is busy embedding into his squad after the start of pre-season training last Friday night.

He will have a squad of 29 players at his disposal in order to build a competitive spirit among them.

Lovegrove said: "I can't wait to start. I have been absolutely buzzing.

"I'm so excited about the group of players we have got, nobody has played the type of expansive brand of rugby that we will.

"I was fairly certain on the areas we needed to improve.

"We are just lucky that we have a pro-active board.

"We need winners. We want people who want to win and who see everything as a competition.

"We have gone for a bigger squad of 29 players. They are all going to have to fight for their spots. We will see who excels and thrives.

"Jake (Webster) and Ritchie (Hawkyard) are important. They have been around the system before and no things. I'm hoping our young players, like Aaron Levy and Jordan Aitchison, can draw on their experience.

"We needed that little bit more athleticism on the edges.

"We will get the next two weeks out of the way to show how I want them to play. It is different to how they have played before."

Lovegrove added he does not expect to make any further signings leading up to next February's big kick-off and would only bring in any further new recruits if the move was right for Cougars.

He said: "For me, that's it. We have a strong squad. We have got a group of lads that I couldn't tell who is going to play and that's what excites me the most.

"If the right opportunity comes up for the right player, then we might try to recruit anyone in.

"We are doing plenty of training and behind-closed doors games, so there are plenty of opportunities for players to push their cases. I'm giving everyone a crack to get on and put our jersey on."

Lovegrove also insists the loyal Cougars faithful can look forward to exciting times ahead after slim pickings over recent times.

He said: "The fans' support last year was awesome. This club is built on a core group of fans. I would say to them just hang in there. The players we have signed give a glimpse of what the club is trying to do."

Meanwhile, Cougars will find out who they play and when during the 2020 campaign later this month.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) have officially confirmed the release date for the 2020 Betfred League One fixtures will be Sunday, November 17.