KEIGHLEY Cougars have confirmed that Josh Lynam has signed a new contract with the club.

Now the club’s longest serving player following the retirement of James Feather, Lynam has penned a one-year deal until the end of the 2023 season.

This means the back rower will head into a 14th season with the club, having debuted for the first team a decade ago.

Speaking about the decision to retain Lynam, head of rugby Andrew Henderson said: “Josh is a great character to have around the club.

“He is an honest local lad who loves playing for his hometown club.

“His game time was limited this season due to injury but the games he did play in he certainly didn’t let himself or the team down.

“Josh is a tough, effort-based player and you need those guys in your squad who you trust and can rely on.

“Josh will add experience from playing in the Championship previously with Keighley and will add competition for places within the 2023 squad.”

“I’m made up to be going round again and into my 14th season with the club,” admitted Lynam.

“To play a part and make history in what we achieved last season meant the world to me as I know it did to the rest of the lads and town.

“It was frustrating at times last season having to sit on the sidelines, but I know I still have a lot to offer personally.

“I have the experience of playing in the Championship for this club and I can use that experience to help the boys who are making the step up for the first time.

“This year was a phenomenal achievement for us all but we have got to continue moving forward and I am looking forward to the challenges that await me and the boys at a higher level.”

A popular figure with both teammates and fans alike, ‘Lyny’ is affectionately known as ‘one of Cougars’ own’, with his unwavering loyalty to Keighley much recognised by all involved with the club.

Lynam signed his first deal with the club at just 16 years old back in 2010, on the back of a breakthrough year in the reserves grade.

Despite signing his first professional contract with the club, he had to wait three years before making his first-team debut, in a defeat against the Batley Bulldogs on the opening day of the 2013 Championship season.

From there, the back row forward never looked back and firmly established himself as a regular in the first team under three different coaches.

In the nine seasons that have followed his debut, Lynam has made 134 appearances, scored 39 tries, and was a member of the side that lifted the 2016 iPro Sport Cup in Blackpool.

This also included a standout season in 2015, when after u-turning on his decision to move to Australia, Lynam scored 13 tries as the Cougars narrowly missed out on promotion from the third tier.

A small consolation saw him included in the League One Team of the Season.

The Rugby Football League also recognised his loyalty to the club in 2018, by awarding ‘Lyny’ a testimonial year, which concluded in November 2021 after an 18-month postponement caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite a neck injury derailing both his testimonial year and his 2019 season, Lynam has since worked hard to force his way back into the first team under head coach Rhys Lovegrove.

And both player and coach were happy to see that continued development as Cougars headed through the 2021 season and into the 2022 campaign.

A serious knee injury sustained in pre-season derailed the first half of the season for Lynam, as he did not make an appearance in 2022 until June’s victory away at Cornwall.

He remained patient and was rewarded with appearances in the club’s final two games of the season, as well as a winners’ medal for playing his part in getting the club dearest to his heart back into the second tier.

Players contracted for season 2023 (as of 12/09/2022): Mo Agoro; Dane Chisholm; Toby Everett; Billy Gaylor; Charlie Graham; Kyle Kesik; Aaron Levy; Josh Lynam; Jack Miller; Dan Parker; Eddy Pettybourne; Nathan Roebuck; Brenden Santi; Harvey Spence; Alix Stephenson; Kyle Trout; Lewis Young.