Motivation is high at Whitehaven RL ahead of the 2021 Challenge Cup.

Speaking to the official Whitehaven RLFC YouTube channel, assistant coach Jonty Gorley gave an update on training as well as the club’s mentality heading into the Challenge Cup and the 2021 Betfred Championship.

He said: “I’ve said it before, if we stay in the Championship, we’ve done what we set out to do. We’ve got to consolidate.” he told the channel.

Haven had a productive 2019/2020 season despite falling just short in number of games. Despite not meeting their full potential, the squad’s stocks rose – showing what they were made of against formidable opponents.

Gorley said: “I’m not going to stick my neck on the block and say we’ll make the playoffs, I would never do that but if we as Whitehaven are sitting here next year in the Championship, to me that’s job done.”

Recent recruitment will bolster the club’s chances when play returns

“We’ve got Ronnie back, Liam Cooper. Liam looks like a great lad, he’s standing out well in training.

Games before the pandemic showed areas for improvement as well as reasons to be confident.

“We were lucky in 2019 because we had a good squad, a good nucleus of local lads who knew each other. We got through a great season there.

“When times got tough we got through it because we had a good nucleus and we were tight and that’s what we need again but we’ve obviously seen at the start of 2020, we need to add to that nucleus as well, so we think we’ve got that.

“We’ve got a big squad because we need one, we need competition for places.”

Hundreds of man-hours have gone into preparing the club for its return to training after the third lockdown.

Kerry Blacklock, Andy Airlie and Whitehaven RLFC vice president Des Byrne have been leading the charge.

Andy Airlie told the Whitehaven RLFC channel: “There was a lot of work in the background just to get them back to training, fortunately we got through it and we got the lads back on the first of December. We’re getting educated, it’s a learning curve for us.”

Haven bosses are making a concerted effort to connect with fans. They launched the YouTube channel earlier this month to cover all of the club’s latest updates ahead of the return to play.

First up for Whitehaven in the 2021 Betfred Championship are the Dewsbury Rams on Easter weekend.