FeaturedLocal sportRugby

Aaron Harlow-Stephenson is training hard and ready to put on good performances for Keighley Cougars

A “confident” Aaron Harlow-Stephenson is eager to get underway at Rugby League One side Keighley Cougars after completing the signing in November.

“Hopefully I can give them what they want in terms of being a very upfront middle, a lot of effort is what they should expect,” said Harlow-Stephenson, who is a part of the Elite Athlete scheme at the University of Sunderland.

“I enjoy the hard work, enjoy defence. I don’t enjoy being in the limelight too much.  I‘ll do my job and whack people where I can and hopefully make the fans understand all the little efforts off the ball as well, there will be a lot of passion”. 

“(Signing for Keighley) means the world to me, I got a message and about three hours later my heart dropped.  It’s imposter syndrome isn’t it? I turn up to training every week and don’t believe I’m there. 

“I’m around people that have played in the RNL. There’s so much knowledge that they have that I’m learning from, it’s good to be better at the game every day.”

When asked about playing time Harlow-Stephenson said: “Hopefully given a couple of seasons maybe I’ll get in that starting squad, but for now I’m happy to train hard and put on good performances when I get the chance too.  It’s a brilliant environment to be around, it’s just unbelievable and all the lads are amazing.”

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Harlow-Stephenson, suffering a second ACL injury after nursing himself back to health, but the paramedic science student is feeling ready to go.

“The physical battle is won, it’s the mental battle now. My leg feels class, I have been in training. It felt great, I was running as hard as I could”.

When asked his confidence for Keighley Cougars upcoming game he responded: “The first test against Oldham on boxing day hopefully I get a spot on that with it being a pre-season game. 

“I’m very confident going into it, excited for the first back line carry, I’ll drink my water and keep the pigs in blankets for the day after”.