Whitehaven RLFC have announced their new backroom staff for next season.

Head coach Jonty Gorley will be assisted by Stephen 'Kirky' Kirkbride who has agreed to leave his role as head coach of Kells to take up the assistant position. 

Also heading to the club from Kells is strength and conditioner Simon Brannan. 

Remaining at the Whitehaven and completing the back room staff for 2022 is team manager Des Byrne, physios Rachel Johnson and Adam Briggs, assistant Kevin Hetherington and club Doctor, Dr Dornu Lebari.

Jonty was full of praise for the former Kells staff.

He said: "I’ve heard good things about Simon. Simon’s done a lot with Kells and I’ve seen some of his work with players who have played for him.

"About four or five years ago I saw him and thought, ‘he’s decent this lad, we could do with someone like him ourselves’.

"I think he’ll lift the lads by about 10 or 20 per cent."

He also said that Stephen Kirkbride will add to the team.

"I needed somebody with a bit more coaching experience as an assistant coach," said Jonty.

"I had a few irons in the fire but I kept coming back to Steven Kirkbride.

"All roads were pointing to him when I was thinking of what I was doing.

"I wanted somebody with knowledge of the local game.

"He did a great job with Kells and everyone I’ve spoken to about him has nothing but praise about him as a person and as a coach as well."

He added: "Off the field it’s looking really good. I’m happy where I’m at.

"That’s as much as I need to do off the field, as far as recruitment goes."

Jonty said that the club are to announce a few new signings in the near future.

He is still looking to sign one or two more players to strengthen his squad.

The size of the squad will be smaller this year, with around 24 players. Last year the team had over 30 in the squad.

Jonty was optimistic about the quality of the players.

He said: "Every one of them is capable of playing in the Championship.

"It’s up to the lads to prove to me who’s going to be putting on a jersey first.

"There’s good competition, we’ve got a good calibre of player in."