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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Haven stars Mattinson and Jackson sign for Town

Workington Town have pulled off a major double signing – with two Whitehaven players agreeing deals to take them to Derwent Park.

Graeme Mattinson photo
Graeme Mattinson

Both hooker Graeme Mattinson and prop Marc Jackson have switched allegiances, ending speculation as to where they would play next season.

Town chairman Dave Bowden said Mattinson, rated as one of the Championship’s finest number nines and strong-running prop Jackson, will be huge assets to the club.

“We have always said that our aim was to build a really competitive Cumbrian team,” said Bowden. “We set that goal last year and got some good young Cumbrians in with room to grow.

“They are going to become good players but they need some experienced ones to go alongside them.

“And when players of the calibre of Graeme Mattinson and Marc Jackson become free and fit into our goals then we have to be interested.”

Mattinson has been one of Haven’s leading lights over the past few years and Bowden said he has long been a fan.

“I have admired Graeme for a long time, anyone who appreciates rugby league has to admire what he can bring to a team,” he added.

“He is also level headed with it and when we spoke to him about his aspirations and how he wanted to work with the board and coaches, it fitted with what we can offer and we will work hard to make sure he is happy with us.”

And he is also delighted to be able to bring the experienced Jackson on board to bolster the pack.

Bowden added: “We have some exciting backs at the club but they need to be playing behind a strong pack and in the last couple of years we have been a bit thin there and have tended to run out of steam towards the end of the season.

“We are not going to make that mistake again and bringing in someone with the experience of Marc Jackson is always a good sign.

“We know what he can offer and with coaches like Gary and Martin we have got the right people for him to work with.”

Both players are former Wath Brow amateurs, with Jackson turning pro with Haven in January 2001 after scooping the BARLA player-of-the-year award in 1999 and representing Great Britain for the Association through all the age groups.

Mattinson won the National Conference Premier Division player-of-the-year award following his spectacular final season at Wath Brow, which culminated in them winning the GMB Union National Cup for the second year in succession.

He went on to join Haven in 2005 and made over 100 appearances for the club.

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