A FLURRY of signings have joined Workington Town’s bid for Betfred League 1 success next term.

Workington head coach Chris Thorman has been busy strengthening his squad and had collected the signatures of three players who were set to feature for Ottawa Aces.

The Aces were set to join the league in 2021 but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have deferred their entry to 2022.

But three familiar faces will now be back wearing the blue and white of Workington Town, with Jake Moore, Calvin Wellington and Declan O’Donnell all signing deals to bring them back to Derwent Park.

And they will be joined in the squad by ex Bradford Academy and Newcastle Thunder utility forward, Jake Lightowler.

Thorman is pleased with the new additions to his squad. He said: “We’re extremely happy to announce that we’ve secured the signings of Jake Moore, Calvin Wellington and Dec O’Donnell for 2021.

“All three had signed contracts with Ottawa for next season but when Ottawa made the decision to defer until 2022 we immediately contacted all three players to try and sign them back.”

O’Donnell, an Irish international, and Wellington only left Town to secure full-time contracts and always said that they enjoyed it at Town so much they wouldn’t have left for anyone else.

Moore played for Town previously and made the move to Whitehaven where he played in the 2019 promotion team and made the League 1 Team of the Year.

Moore said: “It has been a strange few months so I’m really happy to be back at Town. I really enjoyed my time here a couple of seasons ago and I’ll be back playing with old friends and some new faces.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the set up here and Chris as a coach so I’m really looking forward to it.

“None of us have played since March and that’s too long to be out. I’ve been keeping myself fit so can’t wait for pre-season whenever that may be.”

And O’Donnell also said he couldn’t wait to get started: "I wouldn’t have left Town for any other League 1 team. They were really good to me since I joined on loan a couple of seasons ago.

“I’ll be back with my mates and can’t wait to be playing soon. 2020 has been a difficult year and I was looking forward to a good year with Town so it’ll be great to deal with unfinished business.”

Wellington added: "It was a wrench to leave and I was enjoying improving my game and learning all the time at Town. It’ll be great to meet up with the lads again and I look forward to smashing it in a really strong squad for 2021.”

Lightowler, an England University representative, is renowned for his tough tackling and energy going forward. He joined Thunder after moving to Northumbria University to study sports and exercise science.

He said: “I spoke to Chris who talked about how he wanted a young, hungry side with lots of energy and who wanted to work for each other. It’s a great chance for me to put my hand up, work hard and hopefully play some consistent rugby. I’m really looking forward to meeting the boys and having a good dig in 2021.”

Thorman added: “Jake is young but has had a great grounding at Academy level, university and at Thunder. I’ve spoke to lots of my contacts who speak very highly of his skillset, work rate and solid defence. We’re putting together a great pack that will cause some issues for the opposition when we return.

“I’m really happy with the four additions to the squad. They bring experience, skill, commitment and flair to an already strong squad. I can't wait to welcome them back to Derwent Park and have a great 2021.”