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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Haven unlikely to risk injured Fox

STEPHEN Fox is unlikely to be risked when Whitehaven bid for promotion against Gateshead Thunder at the Recreation Ground on Sunday (3pm) – and try to raise a packet for a worthy charity.

The centre/second-row damaged his ankle in last weekend’s win over top four rivals Doncaster, which saw Haven edge to within two points of moving up to the Championship.

“Foxy was still limping pretty badly on Monday night and it’s more than likely we’ll give him a rest this week and give Bradd Crellin a run,” coach Don Gailer said.

“Both are good in defence, and Bradd has been busting himself in training to get a run. He will be raring to go.

“Foxy knew straight away his ankle was gone, and so did the physio. We still have quite a few games to go and didn’t want to risk any more damage.

“It’s not a bone problem but ankles are still horrible when they start going wrong.”

Haven will wear a special Help for Heroes kit for the Gateshead clash, which doubles as a fundraiser for the injured servicemen’s charity. Club sponsor NMP will donate £1 for every fan in attendance and present the cheque at half-time.

“As a club we really appreciate our major sponsor making such a gesture, it’s excellent,” said chief executive Barry Richardson.

Prop Paul Cullnean, a former soldier, is eager as many fans as possible turn out after they showed their support in last season’s game against South Wales Scorpions.

“The more get down to the game, the more the charity gets,” said Cullnean, named in the division’s team of the month for July, after also featuring in June. “They raised over three grand last year and this year it’s more double-edged.

“If we can get a 1,000-plus crowd, they will hopefully see us get promoted and money raised will help a lot more people than if folk stay at home. It will go to a deserving cause and be put to good use.”

Launched in 2007, the charity supports injured and sick service personnel, veterans, and their families. Backing is provided through grants to individuals and other service charities, capital projects and support at their four recovery centres across the UK.

Haven are looking to secure promotion with a couple of games to spare, though play-offs will follow the league campaign.

“We can see light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve just got to make sure it’s not a train,” Gailer joked. “If we stick to our game plan and what we do well, I’m expecting the boys to play well.

“Gateshead know they always go reasonably well against us, and they will be coming here to make a mark on their season.

“We need to stay focused and keep our discipline, and I hope lots of people are there to cheer the boys across the line.”

Meanwhile, Trust in Haven is up and running again and planning elections shortly. The fans’ trust is currently being run by a steering group and supporters are invited to join the body, which is firmly behind the club’s current administration. Check the group’s website for details.

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