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New boss in plea to Haven fans

NEW coach Dave Woods is looking to renew links between Whitehaven and their supporters.

Deal: Dave Woods

Crowds have dipped in Championship One over the past two seasons, and the Aussie, appointed on Monday, is looking for a resurgence in interest next season following promotion to the second-tier.

Setting out some of his aims, he said: “I want to try to again unite the fans with the club and get in to the amateur game, see a few games and see if we can attract young kids back.

“You want them to play for Whitehaven and hopefully go on to Super League, and when they finish, come back and play here, coach, or help out in some way.”

Woods, who is looking beyond Championship survival and targeting a play-off place next term, applied for the Haven job in the past, though not when advertised last year, as he was contracted to York at the time.

“I applied before and didn’t have much luck, so it’s good I have an opportunity now,” he said. “There was an opportunity to come here and I thought it was good for me.

“I have the experience and have done it before at this level. I know what’s expected of the players, the training and how to play.”

Woods boasts a superb record in the British game, guiding Castleford Tigers in to Super League in 2005, after beating Haven in the NL1 Grand Final, then leading Gateshead Thunder to promotion to the second-tier in 2008.

He joined the York City Knights in April 2010 as director of rugby, taking over as head coach two months later and steering York to the Championship via the play-offs.

Ralph Calvin, Haven chairman, said: “We wanted to look for a proven coach with experience at a high level, and a coach with the ability to develop team sprit, by combining enjoyment and discipline, on and off the field.

“Dave portrayed the ambition, desire and passion to move Whitehaven on to the next step, and believes we will compete and more than hold our own in a tough Championship competition.

“His knowledge and understanding of the game, coupled with the technical expertise that he possesses in player and team development, will pay dividends.

“Dave is a players’ coach with great man-management skills that will undoubtedly get the team playing with pride and passion.

“Hopefully, a successful, winning team on the pitch will bring back the fans as we need as much support as possible to enable us to maintain our position in the Championship next year.

“Ten years ago we were one of the best teams outside Super League, and our aim is to get back to that level. This is the first step in that direction.”

To help the club find the right candidate, Haven devised a series of questions to test the “behavioural and technical competencies” of applicants.

“We had 17 top applicants and it took the board some time to deliberate and select a shortlist of five, with each given equal opportunity to press their claim to become the new Whitehaven coach,” Calvin added.

“All five had good interviews, with two clear front-runners at the end of the process. In the end we selected Dave, who came out on top due to many things, including his proven experience and success at the three clubs he has coached in England.”

Have your say

Good choice
I'm routing for you Dave

Posted by Beaver Beckster on 22 September 2012 at 10:54

Welcome aboard Dave, hope that your time with Whitehaven is fruitfull and can bring us back the type of rugby we had in the early part of the last decade. Better performances on the field will bring back some fans but the club needs to do far more to engage with younger people.

The website is kept up to date when they can be bothered, same goes for facebook & twitter, the information given is minimal, there is no feedback to fans on issues, there is no additional match day experience these days. I know it can cost money to do some of these things, but you have to speculate to accumulate and the stakes next year will be a lot higher.

Posted by Havenfan on 20 September 2012 at 13:35

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