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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Ex-Wigan starlet Gee joins Haven

HAVEN have swooped in to snap up a former Wigan Warriors half-back to strengthen their bid to climb out of Championship One next season – but they are also looking for a new chairman with Dick Raaz confirming he his heading back to the States.

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newcomer: Sam Gee

The club has signed Sam Gee, who can also play at hooker, on a one-year contract.

He was part of the Wigan side that beat St Helens in the Reserve-Grade Grand Final in 2009, playing alongside the likes of Stefan Marsh, Josh Charnley, Karl Pryce and Lee Mossop, under Shaun Wane.

After moving down to the London area, the 28-year-old played his rugby last season with the Skolars but has moved back up north and was keen to play his part at Whitehaven.

Director, Paul Nelson, said: “Sam can play in the halves or hooker and Lee Doran was a key player in getting us his signature.

“He was recommended by Paul Cullen as well and he comes to us with a desire to make an impact both within our club and Championship One.

“We are trying as a club to gather together a squad that will compete at the top end of our division with a view to promotion.

“Other players are being targeted both here and overseas. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be in a position to announce further names to our squad, in order to place our coach Don Gailer in a position where he has quality in depth right across the park to work with.”

Whitehaven are in the process of finding a new chairman as Dick Raaz is leaving the area to take up a key post in the United States nuclear industry.

With his contract heading up the low level waste repository (LLWR) at Drigg having come to an end, he has now joined the Idaho Treatment Group.

Dick and his wife JD Raaz, who have lived at the Red House in Drigg, said they were leaving West Cumbria with mixed emotions but intend to make regular trips back to the area.

Haven chief executive Barry Richardson said they were currently in the process of finding a suitable replacement for Mr Raaz and they hoped to have someone in place quickly.

Earlier this week, the club confirmed the re-signing of centre/second rower Martyn Wilson.

The former Cumbria star, had spent seven seasons with Workington Town before heading back to the amateur ranks with Seaton last season.

But after shining in the Cumberland League, he was snapped back up by Whitehaven at the end of June and made his senior debut against Gateshead the following month.

“Martyn came to us last season and played in our under-23s and then scored a try on his senior debut against Gateshead,” said Nelson.

“He is a big athletic young man who fits neatly into our plans. He is such a versatile player, he can go into the second row or anywhere in the three-quarters.

“We are just delighted that he has committed to us for next season.”

Nelson added that signing Wilson was part of the club’s drive to keep the nucleus of the side Cumbrian in 2012.

The club is also in the final stages of confirming sponsors and designs for next season’s shirts.

They hope to be able to confirm season ticket prices and any offers in the near future.

“All kit designs must be approved by the RFL and this cannot be done until all potential sponsors confirm and designs are submitted for approval,” added Nelson.

“Once this process is complete, and the club are in the final stages at this point in time, a launch date will be confirmed, with early December being the target.”

Whitehaven RL will hold their annual presentation night on Friday, November 11 at the ground, 7pm.

Supporters can go along, tickets are £5 and include food and entertainment from duo The ID. Tickets are on sale from the ground.

This week’s £100 Pride of Five lottery winners are: 1421 – Mattinson, Sandringham Ave, Whitehaven; 1788 – Miss H Carty, Mill Hill, Cleator Moor; 559 – Mr E Reed, Buttermere Ave, Seacliffe, Whitehaven; 401 – Miss Gillian Hartley, High Street, Bigrigg; 1881 – Alison Jackson, Hawthorns Close, Distington.

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