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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Woods: No pressure on Whitehaven new boy Matty Palmer

New recruit Matty Palmer will not be under any pressure to be an instant hit for Whitehaven, revealed boss Dave Woods.

Matty Palmer photo
Whitehaven chairman Ralph Calvin with Matty Palmer

Palmer penned a two-year pro deal last week after enjoying a towering season for Egremont Rangers, helping the Cumbrians win the National Conference Division One title and earn promotion to the amateur game’s top-flight. But he will be given time to adapt to the fresh demands of the pro game.

“You have to be careful with young fellas you bring out of the amateur game, as it’s a big step up, and we will be smart with him,” said Woods, who saw Palmer in his first Haven training session this week.

“He fitted in well, picked things up pretty quick and got involved in everything.

“He played well in the few games where I saw him and he’s a tough lad who runs some good lines. He will be with some experienced players who will help him.”

Palmer is prepared to wait for his professional breakthrough and does not expect to make an immediate mark on the first-team, though Woods will hand him an early chance if merited.

“I think I’m good enough to get in straight away but in my head I don’t think I will because lads have been there for years. I’ll have to work for my spot,” said Palmer.

The forward recently enjoyed a two-week trial with Super League London Broncos, where he impressed, though at 89kgs he was, at present, considered too light for the top-flight. He has been given a nutrition guide and weights programme by the Broncos, who are ready look at him again down the track when he bulks up.

The 23-year-old had been called in to the Cumbria amateur squad ahead of turning pro and realises he has turned his back on potential future amateur honours.

“It was a hard decision but I thought there was nothing left to achieve in the amateur game, other than going on tour, and that doesn’t bother me,” said Palmer, who thanked Egremont coaches John Brocklebank, Rob Purdham and Mally Caton for their help this year.

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