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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Rise in ticket sales shows fans’ support

WHITEHAVEN have seen a whopping 75 per cent rise in season ticket sales for the new campaign.

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recovered: Whitehaven playmaker Carl Rudd

The club have invested heavily in building a squad designed to win promotion to the Championship, and that has been reflected in increased interest from fans.

Under 100 season ticket sales were sold last year, for Haven’s first year in the third tier, but that has now rocketed to 175.

“It’s an excellent number for Championship One and a fantastic achievement,” said chief executive Barry Richardson.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm about the town and the club, and we really appreciate fans getting behind us with better season ticket sales. It’s good to see them show that commitment.”

The club lotteries are also turning a rising profit – around £35,000 in 12 months after losing money when the current board took over – and replica shirt sales are also booming.

Richardson added: “Director Paul Nelson has done really well with merchandising, and we have sold over 300 replicas. He also did a good job with the design, working closely with O’Neills.

“We really appreciate the support of Billy Rudd in allowing us to sell merchandise from his shop in town.”

Haven’s Northern Rail Cup campaign was de-railed at Workington Town on Sunday, in a 44-16 reverse. But Richardson has not lost his faith in the squad.

“It was disappointing but hasn’t changed our view that we have got together a really good squad, and we are adding to it,” he continued.

“We have every confidence we’ll be up there at the end of the season, but it won’t be easy. Everyone in the league has the same target and it will be great for the fans to watch.”

Playmaker Carl Rudd has recovered after being taken off in the second-half at Derwent Park suffering from an eyesight problem.

“He had blurred vision, which was a bit of a concern, and he couldn’t focus,” said coach Don Gailer.

“The game had gone by then and I got him out of there as we weren’t prepared to risk him. But he has been good this week.

“He had given a great talk to the boys before the game about what it meant, and we looked all set.”

Gailer believes Town got their team selection right by picking so many Cumbrians for the derby clash.

Haven entertain Barrow on Sunday in their final NR Cup group game (3pm), knowing they cannot qualify for the quarter-finals.

And those players yet to figure in the competition, such as Danny Barker, Martin O’Neill, Sam Cunningham, Martyn Wilson and Matthew Haggerty will be given a chance to stake a claim.

“We will have a look at all those guys, and I’m sure people will like to see Loz Hamzat back on the wing,” he added.

Barrow could still squeeze in to the last-eight if they beat Haven and other scores go in their favour.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: Mrs Lightfoot, of Bridge End Park, Egremont, with ticket number 3,389; Paul Hillon, Loop Road, Whitehaven, 1,358; A Freeman, Bay Vista, 1,912; Mrs Wilson, Victoria Road, Whitehaven, 1,129; B Jackson, Bigrigg, 2,421.

Blue Club winners: £250 - Cheryl Twinn; £100 - Chris Scrugham; £50 each - L Grundill, Kevin O’Neill, Howard Robinson.

Rhinos for Life winners: A0050 - Joyce Bell; E6869 - R Roberts; Y4954 - J Robinson; B3371 - J Rodgers; G5006 - Sara Craven.

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