Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton is impressed with the fitness levels of his returning squad.

The Haven players reported back for training on Wednesday and were put through their paces for 90 minutes.

Charlton said: “We are fortunate to have a squad of players who look after themselves. I was impressed with how they shaped up and I think we are already further on than we might have been. We did some work on defence but concentrated on conditioning and the signs were positive.

“Everyone realises it’s going to be a big challenge for us in the Championship against full-time teams and we want to be as fit as possible. We will be training regularly now on Wednesdays and Fridays and the lads will be asked to do a session themselves on a Monday or Tuesday. They are a strong group who take things seriously and look after themselves, which is a big bonus.”

Charlton confirmed that the club is looking to play a third pre-season friendly against North Wales Crusaders. Originally the match had been pencilled in for January 5, but that won’t be the case and they are now looking at Saturday, January 25.