Carl Forster will be in Whitehaven on Saturday to say his goodbyes at the club’s presentation night and he’s genuinely sorry to be leaving.

Finances dictated a change at the Recreation Ground, and despite two successful seasons, his two years in charge have come to an end.

But next season he will be guiding Rochdale Hornets, hoping that they will still be a Championship side after being confirmed as their new player-coach.

He said: "I spent a year on dual-registration with Rochdale before I came to Whitehaven, so I know the club and the people. They are very similar to Whitehaven in being a close-knit family club.

"In many ways, it’s a relief that I have another job to go to after leaving Whitehaven but I didn’t get a call until Monday morning. Things moved very quickly and it was an exceptionally busy day.

"The playing staff has changed a lot since I was there, so I don’t really know many of them. They have an important game on Sunday at Sheffield but I won’t be there.

"I’m staying over in Whitehaven after the presentation when I will be saying my farewells to a lot of good people where I have loved working."

Forster has a year’s contract at Rochdale and they go into the last game of the season on Sunday fighting for their Championship lives.

They are bottom but level on points with Swinton.

Hornets go to Sheffield while Swinton are at Batley and the team which eventually does finish at the foot of the table faces the prospect of a final match with the team that loses the League One play-off final.

Alan Kilshaw, the current Rochdale coach, is standing down at the end of the season and will be in charge for their remaining commitments.

In making their appointment, the Rochdale directors will have recalled Hornets’ 38-0 defeat to Forster’s Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup at the Recreation Ground earlier in the season.

He was also the League One Coach of the Year in his debut season of 2017 when he led Whitehaven to second place in the regular season before losing a close play-off final at Barrow.

In some ways his efforts this season, when Haven finished sixth, were just as impressive. He led them to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup where they lost to the eventual winners Catalans Dragons.

Throughout the season, Whitehaven operated with the smallest squad (mostly 19 players) and had to contend with special measures because of financial issues; a possible takeover and injuries to key players.