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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Haven heading in right direction says chairman Raaz

WHITEHAVEN chairman Dick Raaz is satisfied that his side are on course for the new season.

0601havenback
ION THE BURST: Haven’s new signing Paul Cullnean bursts through the Town defence on Monday, in a superb debut performance

Despite the defeat to Workington in Monday’s Ike Southward Memorial game, Raaz believes Haven are heading in the right direction.

And he praised new coach David Seeds for getting his players motivated and into shape, saying he was pleased with the progress at the club.

“Everyone seems to like David Seeds and I am certainly impressed, he is trying really hard,” said Raaz.

“I am very pleased that he has got all the lads motivated.

“Despite the awful weather everyone has been coming in for practices and we seem in better shape early on in the season and I am encouraged by that.

“I am optimistic, hopeful and pleased – on and off the pitch.”

Raaz also confirmed that Haven were still looking for another prop to bolster their pack ahead of the new season but said that Seeds would be handling the matter.

Seeds indicated that they would consider a forward if the right one became available but he was not desperate.

Haven did go down by 20 points to 12 at the hands of Town on Monday but assistant coach Les Ashe said there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.

And he too is optimistic about Haven’s chances when the Championship One season begins.

“We were very disappointed to have lost the fixture and the trophy, which in itself is very meaningful to West Cumbrian rugby league,” said Ashe.

“But, over-riding that, we felt that once we got going in the game, after the first 20 minutes, there were a lot of positives.

“We had a lot of lads making their debuts and a new combination at half-back, who only had a combined age of about 36/37.

“Both those lads came through it pretty well and that was a plus for us.

“Paul Cullnean also had an exceptional debut and we were more than happy with everyone’s attitudes, effort and contribution.

“We just weren’t good enough on the day, congratulations to Town, it was the first time they had won the trophy and that sets everything up nicely for the next three derby matches.”

Ashe said the players would be put through their paces over the next couple of weeks, to prepare them for their next big test, at Oldham to contest the Seat Trophy on Sunday, January 23.

Then the following week, Haven will host Leeds Rhinos.

Richard Farrer featured against Town and was delighted to put his 2010 injury nightmare firmly behind him.

The ex-Great Britain amateur started strongly in his debut season in the pro ranks last term, making eight early appearances before suffering major shin and knee damage at Widnes in April.

The injuries signalled the end of his Championship season, though he did return for the title-winning reserve-grade late in the campaign.

Boss David Seeds has handed him the No 15 jersey for the new campaign and the front-rower plans to make the most of his opportunities.

“My aim’s just to be in the starting 17, keep my spot and stay injury-free all season,” Farrer said.

“Coming in from the amateurs, it was a step-up last season and felt I was getting there. But after the injuries I never got back the fitness I’d had before.

“I had two injuries in one incident, and once I got over one, I still had the other.”

As expected, prop Howard Hill and winger Craig Calvert were not fully fit and did not feature against Town and Haven were also without Spencer Miller, Tane Manihera and Kurt Wilton who pulled out with flu.

Match sponsorships are now available from the club, contact 01946 328088.

Last week’s Pride of Five £100 lottery winners were: C & M Henderson, Mirehouse, ticket no 61319; J Adams, Whitehaven, 31386; T Cartmell, Whitehaven, 41009; D Walker, Whitehaven, 45814; Stanley Crears, Whitehaven, 02060.

This week’s winners were: Chris Bowness, Whitehaven, 02296; Julie Kennedy, Whitehaven, 00436; McMillan, Whitehaven, 56127; John Tear, Whitehaven, 01258; Steven McKeown, Whitehaven, 92653.

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