Whitehaven AFC have made several major signings in the hopes they will bring a more experienced air and a change in fortunes to the club.

Club boss Billy Redden has welcomed five new signings – Owen and Mccauley Woodburn, Kevin and Mal Holliday, and Luke Blaney.

Redden, who took over at the club in October, made the experienced signings in the hope that they will lead the team to future victories.

Whitehaven AFC play in step seven, and when he took over Redden felt that the side needed a boost in order to get back in the win column.

“They’re good honest lads, really committed, but they just were not ready for the demands of that league.”

He hopes that the more experienced signings will raise their game and take the pressure off when it comes to competition, allowing them the breathing room to develop.

“They’re making a big difference. Since they came in, the younger lads have stepped up a little bit, it’s a lot more intense.”

New captain Mal Holliday has been re-signed from Penrith AFC. He started his career at Whitehaven and will return to lead the side into future victories. Redden said: “Mal is a really experienced player. He’s coming back to put something back into the club.”

Luke Blaney, who played in Workington AFC’s reserves in the past under Redden’s tutelage, has signed with the club as a centre back. His signing follows a brief hiatus away from the game whilst he attended university.

Owen Woodburn, signed from Winscale, will play in attacking midfield. He has previously impressed Redden in the reserves.

Mccauley Woodburn, 24, was playing for Bransty in the Saturday league but he is now ready for a step up.

“He wanted to challenge himself,” said Redden. “He’s looked really good in pre-season.”

And Redden is happy to see Kevin Holliday return. Holliday, 33, has played for the club in stints for a long time but injury forced him onto the sidelines for two years.

“It’s like making a new signing” said Redden. He added that Whitehaven have been hard at work during pre-season with the club’s new signings using their experience to drive younger players on during training sessions.

Next on the agenda for Whitehaven AFC is strengthening the club’s community aspect. Said Redden: “Over the last four to five years the club’s lost the progression from youth teams up to senior football. We’ve got an Over 18s team but they don’t play in the reserves.

“We’re trying to fix that. The really important thing for me is to have better links with the youth section, try and encourage the lads, try and get more of them from the Under 18s to step up to the reserves.”

Redden is motivated to see a change in fortunes for the club.

“It’s a massive club – there’s about 400 members. It just lost it’s way a little bit.”

He added that a key to success is “cohesion and the links between the teams”.