Whitehaven have seen enough to be convinced Millom forward Ethan Kelly has what it takes to make it in the pro ranks.

The 22-year-old south Cumbrian, who was star man in the League One game at Oldham, has signed a deal until the end of the season.

Whitehaven had initially taken Kelly on trial and he was used in the friendly win over Newcastle Thunder and in the 35-12 defeat at Oldham. He was unlucky not to get on the score sheet at Oldham when he had two tries disallowed for a double movement and a disputed forward pass.

Kelly, who had trials with Barrow two years ago, came to Whitehaven’s attention with a man of the match performance against Red Star Belgrade while playing for Millom in their Coral Challenge Cup tie streamed live on the BBC Sport website.

On completing his registration Kelly said: “I’m really excited to be signing my first pro contract and testing myself at a higher level.

“I’ve enjoyed everything at the club so far, from playing Newcastle in a friendly to playing against Oldham, although having two tries disallowed was a bit disappointing.

“Picking-up the League Express Man of the Match award afterwards was just an amazing feeling. I am looking forward to the season ahead now.”

Coach Gary Charlton has been ecstatic about the arrival of Kelly, a player he believes has a lot of potential.

“Ethan has really impressed us as coaches and what he really does well is to run hard into the defence, sticking his head through the line.

“He wins his collisions and has a quick play-the-ball, and has all the attributes you need as a front row forward.

“We will work hard on his fitness so he does need more minutes on the field and that will come the more he trains with us. He has really fitted in well and we are pleased to have a young local prop with loads of potential on board.”

Kelly will get some of those valuable minutes on Sunday when Whitehaven host Wigan St. Patrick’s in the third round of the Coral Challenge Cup.