Turning a home ground into a fortress is the most over-used phrase in sport.

But, on the eve of the new Championship season, Whitehaven head coach Gary Charlton has another take on it.

“I just want the Recreation Ground to be the hardest place to visit in the whole of the competition,” said Charlton.

“It’s imperative that we win our home games and the coaching staff and players are all aware of that.

“We want to get off to the best possible start and send out a message when we start against Swinton on Sunday.

“I’m confident that whatever 13 we start with, they’ll go out there and give their best for the club.

“It hasn’t been easy selecting a starting line-up for the first game, but that’s not a problem we mind.

“Throughout the course of the season I am sure all the squad will get to play a part.”

Swinton Lions have an arrangement with Super League side Salford, over dual registration and the new reserve grade competition.

But it’s not a road Whitehaven are prepared to take as they again rely on the bulk of the squad from within the county.

Haven only have three travelling men – Chris Taylor, Dave Thompson and Jamie Thackray – with the first two already considered to be ‘honorary marras’.

Charlton said: “Dual registration hasn’t even been mentioned. We won League One without it and we’ll survive in the Championship without it.

“As for combining players for the reserve grade, I’m not for that. You sign for one club, and one club alone.”

Speaking about Swinton ahead of the clash, Charlton said: “They aren’t the biggest team but they are very mobile and like to throw the ball about. It’s going to be an interesting opening game,”