Whitehaven have signed talented forward Karl Olstrom as they prepare for their return to the Championship.

The 27-year-old former Wath Brow junior will have a second stint with Haven, having also had two different spells with local rivals Workington Town.

It’s fair to say there have been issues during Olstrom’s career which have affected his progress, since he was released by his first professional club Wakefield Trinity who signed him from Wath Brow.

But Haven coach Gary Charlton is delighted to have him back under his wing and is hoping for a big contribution from him this season.

“There were a couple of minor issues with Karl when I had him as a player when I was coach at Workington Town. But nothing that affected his performance for us,” said Charlton.

“He’s a very talented forward, well capable of playing in the Championship, and I am sure he’s going to have an important role in our efforts to meet the challenge posed by the higher level.

“Karl hasn’t trained with us yet but I have no doubts about his fitness and readiness for the new season because he’s always kept himself fit and he’ll actually be going to Newcastle with us on Saturday.”

Olstrom first joined Haven at the start of the 2017 season, but was released in April 2018 rejoining Workington Town a few weeks later.

Whitehaven chairman Tommy Todd said: “He’s certainly the type of player who can give us a bit more out there on the field in the Championship.”

Todd also confirmed Haven will scour the market – including abroad – for a half-back after being let-down by their latest Papua New Guinean target.

“We thought we had him after receiving his signature but that wasn’t followed-up by the rest of the paperwork and it looks as if he’s received another offer to stay and play in his homeland.

“It’s a disappointment, but not the end of the world and we’ll continue to look for the right sort of player. Some of our contacts outside the country are already looking at potential recruits,” said the chairman.

Whitehaven will have three absentees when they travel to Newcastle for the first pre-season game on Saturday – one through work, another because of injury and a third who is on a pre-booked holiday.

“This is going to be a good opening test against a side who should be up there competing for promotion from League One,” said coach Charlton.

n WHITEHAVEN have confirmed that the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game on January 19 will kick-off at 2pm so that fans can watch the Liverpool v Man Utd game afterwards in the J J McKeown Bar on the ground.