Cougars have announced former Super League star Jason Demetriou as their new player-head coach.

The ex-Wakefield captain signed a two-year deal yesterday afternoon to take over the reins from Barry Eaton.

Assistant coaches Glen Barraclough and Matt Bramald will stay in their positions and work under Demetriou.

Cougars have moved quickly to snap up the 34-year-old Australian, who was due to start a 12-month playing contract with York City Knights. York swapped places with Keighley in the Championship last season.

Demetriou – who has been a member of the Super League Dream Team during his seven-year stint at Wildcats – is keen to get into a coaching role and has opted to join Cougars instead.

Keighley chairman Gary Fawcett expressed his delight at landing the former Man of Steel contender.

He said: “We’re very excited about his arrival. He will be a real addition both on and off the pitch.”

Despite relegation to Championship One, Fawcett has maintained his ambitions to lift Cougars into Super League by 2015.

And he said the capture of Demetriou underlined the club’s intentions.

He said: “It puts a marker down about how determined we are to not only get back into the Championship but to make into the top three.”

It was revealed last week that the loose forward, who started his career in this country with Widnes Vikings, had applied for the post.

And Fawcett said fans had told him they were hoping Demetriou would get the position following Eaton’s departure to Crusaders.

He said: “The fans have been saying they wanted us to sign Jason. There’s going to be a lot of excitement about the place now with the team we have in place already, plus Jason.”

Fawcett emphasised the importance of keeping Barraclough and Bramald on board.

He said: “That was part of the deal. We wanted a blend of newness and Super League experience with continuity.”

Demetriou will start his post on January 4 and his first game will be the friendly against Rochdale on Sunday, January 9.

Cougars endured more frustration with the weather when their friendly against Dudley Hill on Tuesday was postponed. The game against Halifax, scheduled for Sunday, has also been cancelled.