New Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton has his sights firmly set on building a team using the best of local talent on offer.

Charlton was unveiled as the new man in the Recreation ground hot seat yesterday - where he will be assisted by Jonty Gorley and Scott McAvoy.

And he says he can’t wait for the fresh challenge that awaits, as he prepares a squad to take on League One next season.

“It’s been a long time,” said Charlton. “It’s been a few years since I was involved but I am really looking forward to a new challenge.

“My last role was with Egremont and that was about three years ago now.

“But I was brought up on rugby league and I was always interested in coaching so when Whitehaven approached me I had a good talk with them.

“I found that the way they wanted to take the club interested me so I was really pleased to come on board.”

Charlton has lived and breathed rugby league since he was a boy, with his father Paul Charlton the talented Great Britain full-back.

The new Haven boss is one of a handful of players to have featured for all four Cumbrian teams in his playing days, and has previously held the reins at Derwent Park, alongside Martin Oglanby.

So he is well aware of the task that lies ahead - and he is keen to develop the talent that lies around them in the county.

“We are really keen to go local,” added Charlton, a former county ARL coach.

“We want to pick up as many talented local players as we can to come down to Whitehaven and they will play week in, week out.

“I would say to the lads out there if we approach you to come and play at Whitehaven then that is what we want you to do.

“You won’t be there just to sit on the sidelines, you will be given an opportunity.

“This will be your chance to showcase what you can do. You won’t be pushed to one side.

“We don’t give up on people that easily. We want to help turn lads into better players and we have done that before with some players when we were at Workington.”

After watching the Haven team from behind a commentary mic several times this season, Charlton has been able to get a good overview of the side.

And he knows what he wants from the squad and how he wants them to play.

But he says his two assistants are also key to how the side will move forward.

“Jonty is so good with the local players and his reputation goes before him, he’s a really good coach,” added Charlton.

“I’ve worked with him a few times and I am really pleased to have him on board again and so was everyone at Whitehaven.

“And Scott knows everything that goes on at Whitehaven and will be a big part of what we do here.”

Haven chairman Tommy Todd said he was delighted Charlton had come on board and he was looking forward to working with him.

"For me he was the stand-out candidate," said Todd. "He will bring a no-nonsense approach to the club, which is good.

"And obviously his pedigree is rugby league is excellent. He did a good job at Workington Town and he is well known and respected i the amateur game.

"We hope that he can help us build bridges with the amateur clubs.

"His dad was one of the finest Cumbrians ever to pull on a rugby jersey, Paul Charlton was rugby royalty so Gary has been brought up with the game.

"We are all looking forward to him coming down and putting his imprint on the club.

"And the fact that he knows times are hard but he is still willing to take the job on, knowing that we are not flush with money, says a lot about the man."