Whitehaven Chairman Tom Todd is backing new coach Gary Charlton to become the club’s local hero.
Charlton, who replaces Rochdale-bound Carl Forster, played for all four Cumbrian professional teams – Barrow, the long-gone Carlisle, Whitehaven and Workington.
He has also coached Workington, but it’s his more recent spells at Egremont and Maryport that attracted Todd.
Charlton, who will have former Workington assistant coach Jonty Gorley and Whitehaven legend Scott McAvoy as his right-hand men, will be working to a reduced budget at the Recreation Ground. And while popular Papua New Guinean Jessie Joe Parker, Jordan Burns, Jason Mossop, Chris Taylor and Dave Thompson have agreed new deals, Charlton will be expected to dip into the community game to bolster his squad.
This year, Whitehaven, who finished sixth, just two places outside the play-offs, brought in Hensingham duo Jake Bradley and Jordan Thomson, who has now agreed a three-year contract, and Kells’ Jordan Herve.
And Todd said: “We hope Gary will help us build bridges with the amateur clubs, with whom he is well known and respected.
“The fact that he wants to take the job on knowing we are not flush with money speaks volumes. For me, he was a stand-out candidate. He will bring a no-nonsense approach to the club, which is good.”
The new one-year deals for versatile Parker and winger Burns were announced at the club’s end-of-season awards night.
And Whitehaven soon followed up by confirming that former Halifax centre Taylor has penned twelve-month terms, while centre Mossop and threequarter or second rower Thompson have signed two-year contracts and utility forward Thomson a three-year deal.