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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Woods: Let me commit to long-term Haven role

DAVE Woods is keen to commit his long-term future to Whitehaven.

Emotional farewell: Jessie Joe Parker can’t hold back the tears after Haven won his final game before returning home. See match report p43.

The coach’s current deal runs out at the end of this year and he wants to build on his highly-encouraging first season at the Recreation Ground. Initial talks have been held with the club and he is awaiting developments.

“I want to stay,” he confirmed. “We are far exceeding expectations this year. We’ve started something and I want to be here for three, four or five years.”

His Recre post is part-time, and he took over The Brook pub at Cleator after joining the club, to supplement his income. And wife Joanne recently moved from their Gateshead home to join him in Copeland.

“I’ve made my commitment by doing what I’ve done and I think I’ve done a good enough job this year, the team is going well, and I want to build on it next year,” he said.

Haven, who travel to Doncaster on Sunday (3pm) were fancied by some pundits to make a swift return to the third tier after earning promotion from only fourth place last term.

But they have defied those predictions and after winning four of their last five outings, lie sixth in the Championship table, and with just five games remaining look set for a play-off place.

Back-rower Bradd Crellin is still unable to train after missing the last two games with a knee injury picked up against Batley, but dual-registered prop Jordan Hand could be available soon after missing out last week with a foot problem.

Matty Palmer has been released so he can turn out for his old amateur club Egremont Rangers, though Haven have re-signed him for next season.

Palmer had not played for Haven since suffering a nasty ankle injury at Leigh six weeks ago.

He was keen to regain match sharpness but under current rules, Haven were unable to loan him to Egremont, so they agreed to let him return to the club he last term helped earn promotion to the amateur game’s top-flight.

“The lad’s had little game time and was desperate to play more rugby league this season,” chief executive Barry Richardson said.

“He is fully-committed to getting a good pre-season with Whitehaven and has signed a contract for next season. He said he was looking forward to pressing his claims for a regular first-team place next season.”

The RL World Cup will put in an appearance at Haven’s raceday at Carlisle Races on August 13. Ex-Recre boss Steve McCormack, who will lead Scotland in to the World Cup, and Woods, will also be there.

Haven have sold their original allocation of hospitality tables and a further three have been made available at £650 for 10 people, or at £70 a head booked individually.

The package includes admission, a three-course meal and afternoon tea, with a Haven player seated on each table. Super League partners St Helens have taken a table. Coach transport is available at a supplement. To book, call the club on 01946 328088.

Reduced-price tickets for general admission are available for £10 in advance by contacting the Recre, The Paper Shop in Cockermouth, Sportzone in Maryport, Reays in Carlisle and Wigton, or The Rooster in Penrith.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: Paul Dunn, Woodlands Avenue, Hillcrest, with ticket number 863; Norman Crosby, c/o Crosby’s Chip Shop, Whitehaven, 3,366; Ann McKain Devon Road, Hensingham, 2,005; John Cadwell, Ramsey Drive, Parton, 3565; Linda Smith, c/o Smurfit Kappa Composites, with Instant ticket 5,452.

Blue Club monthly draw: £500 – Gareth Hewer; £250 - Neil Fennell; £100 - Harry Roles; £50 each – Graeme Morton, Olivia Farrell.


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