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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Whitehaven coach aiming to run rule over top amateurs

New coach Dave Woods is to invite some of the area’s top amateur prospects to go through their paces with his Whitehaven squad to test if they fancy a crack at the pro game.

Dave Woods photo
Dave Woods

Woods is keen to build relationships with amateur clubs and believes giving youngsters a chance to train with the professionals as they launch their countdown to the new Championship season is a great way to discover if they want a future in the paid ranks.

“It’s all about the kids and getting them to play at the best level they can,” he said.

“I want to give them an opportunity and invite a number of the good amateurs to our pre-season.

“It’s then up to them if they want to be involved. If they don’t I can understand as some are happy to play at their level. Kells and Egremont have both made finals so clubs are obviously doing something right.”

Woods is keen to help amateur clubs in the coaching sphere, whether by taking sessions for players or even their coaches at local clubs. He pledged that Haven would go through the proper channels before asking promising players to train at the Recre.

“We’ll do it right and won’t go behind the backs of clubs,” he added. “And clubs have to see the big picture, too.”

The amateur season will be winding down in a few weeks’ time when Haven launch pre-season training, meaning young prospects are more likely to be available for sessions at the Recre.

Woods is no stranger to the junior international scene. He coached a Great Britain Community Lions Under-18 side to South Africa last year that included Alistair Leak and Blake Mahovic, both of Egremont, Sam Forrester, from Maryport, Seaton’s Callum Phillips and Marcus O’Brien, of Millom.

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