KEIGHLEY Cougars are aiming to replicate the success they achieved in the Coral Women's Challenge Cup last season under their former name of Albion.

It was announced back in November that Keighley Albion would go under a re-branding to become the Cougars and play their home games at Cougar Park.

Sarah Lancaster's ladies had a trophy-laden campaign last term under their previous name, winning League One at a canter before gaining promotion by sealing victory in the play-off final.

Albion reached the quarter final of the 2019 Challenge Cup, becoming the only non Super League club to do so, eventually losing out to top tier side Wakefield Trinity.

Lancaster is hoping to attain similar success in the competition this time out when they play their first game as Cougars, travelling to RAF Ladies for the opening round on Sunday.

The Keighley team manager is expecting a difficult test, but thinks her side's togetherness will be the difference against a team who have a unique method of selecting players.

She said: "We are quite confident. It is a bit of unknown territory because it is the RAF and we are travelling away to Boston in Lincolnshire, so it is a long coach journey.

"We never do (know much about RAF) because they are military defence, they could be deployed to Afghanistan you just don’t know.

"We have played them on Albion’s pitch and they are a tough side that are fit.

"They might have only trained once as a team, while we have that bond.

"We might be out of it (the Challenge Cup) straight away or we may progress like we did last season, but the (league) season doesn’t start until April 19 so we need that game time."

Lancaster is keen to build on last year's success, believing the sky is the limit for Keighley, as they target successive promotions to reach the lofty heights of the top division.

The introduction of David Needham , a Level 2 coach, has been embraced by the whole squad, who hope to attract supporters of the male Cougars team to watch their games.

Lancaster said: "Dave Needham is fantastic, he has just brought a lot of drive into the side. We have got a good team spirit and we are hoping for good things.

"We did have Roger Fisher who was coach, but because of work commitments there wasn’t going to be someone there every week, so Dave Needham is what we needed.

"He has been down for some training and the girls have responded to him really well.

"We have got a new captain this season, Sarah Shillito. She has represented England and she is a stalwart of our core players from Albion."

She added: "With the backing from the Cougars, we hope that we can get there (Super League). We couldn’t have done it at the Albion because of the facilities and the pitch. We needed to be associated with a professional club.

"Hopefully we can attract them (followers of the men's side). We did have 400-500 spectators at Albion last season, so we want to expand that with promotion and social media coverage."