From a possibility of Whitehaven folding in their 70th anniversary season, to one of optimism looking forward, club chairman Tommy Todd has witnessed a roller-coaster 2018.

His personal review of an incredible year went from the depths of despair to a much brighter future in view.

Todd says; “It was the year that the loss of significant nuclear funding finally had a major effect and losses simply could no longer be sustained.

“A somewhat complicated take-over bid not only did not materialize but promises made put the club further in debt.

“There was a chance that the club might have folded on several occasions. However, at the club’s darkest hour - probably since 1965, when our 70th anniversary could well have been our last - the fans rallied round magnificently and an appeal rescued the club from its immediate problems. There was even a last gasp shot at promotion.

“Since then things have changed significantly. A new coaching team under the leadership of Garry Charlton has energised the club. Training is proving hard and the lads are responding magnificently.

“A big push to recruit a more locally-based team has also hopefully encouraged the stay-away fans to return. With the experience of Dion Aiye, Jessie Joe Parker, Chris Taylor and Dave Thompson, and the new recruits we have an exciting team in the making.

“On top of all the above three new directors have joined the board in Andrew Canavan, Jason Ball and Matthew Stephenson, while funding was generously given by other investors.

“All are committed to move things forward and especially to bring in more sustainable projects to the club.

“The top priority will be the appointment of a new commercial manager early in the New Year. .

“Directors get little in the way of praise and take a lot of brickbats over the year, and some of these can be personal and hurtful.

“I can assure all the fans and anyone who has any connection with the club that this body of men work tirelessly for this club of ours.

“With the gift of hindsight we may not always get some things right but they always make decisions that they believe are the right ones at the time of their making.

“I am proud to say I am the Chairman of this body. I thank them for the support they give me personally and each other.”

Whitehaven have only two pre-season games arranged as efforts to fix-up a third at the Recreation Ground proved unsuccessful.

They start on January 13 at Derwent Park for the annual Ike South Memorial Trophy game with Workington Town and follow-up a week later at Barrow.

The League season starts on February 17 with a home game against Keighley Cougars.