KEIGHLEY Cougars will be coming up against several of last season’s squad when they face Hunslet home and away next year in Betfred League 1.

Billy Gaylor has spent the last five years at Cougar Park, but his departure was confirmed just days after their relegation from the Championship.

The hooker/half-back has now linked up with former West Bowling boss Dean Muir at Hunslet for the 2024 season, and his new head coach said: “Billy is a player who can play multiple positions with ease.

“His skill level and work rate made him a vital signing for us. He is someone who can play 80 minutes and is a genuine leader. He knows the system and process and is very detailed.”

Prop Toby Everett had a tough time with injuries at Keighley last season, and he departed a week after the end of the season alongside Robbie Storey.

He had a contract with Cougars for the 2024 season but chose to move on and join Hunslet instead.

Like Gaylor, Aaron Levy was a long-serving player at Keighley, but the back-rower was released from his contract by mutual consent in August and has also now joined their South Leeds rivals.

Young winger Keenan Dyer-Dixon also left Cougars towards the end of last season, and like Levy, he has linked up with Muir at Hunslet too.

Keighley News: Keenan Dyer-Dixon rides a hefty tackle in Cougars' defeat at Halifax back in March.Keenan Dyer-Dixon rides a hefty tackle in Cougars' defeat at Halifax back in March. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

The Parksiders have plenty of other former Cougars alumni in their squad too, including Aidan Scully, Spencer Darley and Harvey Hallas.

As it stands, Cougars and Hunslet are two of just eight teams in League 1 next year, a situation neither are happy about.

Both Newcastle Thunder and London Skolars have folded ahead of 2024, though the former are still hopeful of a return to the game.