Whitehaven RLFC's 2021 player of the year will be back at the LEL Arena next season after signing a new one-year deal.

Tom Wilkinson, who was voted both the club's player of the year and the players' player of the year for last season, enjoyed his best campaign since joining from Askam in 2019 and clinched five awards at the end-of-season presentation.

That night he reassured supporters by declaring that he 'wasn't leaving' and, true to his word, Wilkinson has put pen to paper on a new contract with Jonty Gorley's side.

Wilkinson said: "I'm really happy to have signed for another year, I think I have shown the fans what to expect from me now and I just want to keep on doing it."

Head coach Gorley said: "It's great to have Wilko back with us for next season.

"Wilko was probably the first player I sounded out when I knew I was going to take the head coach's job.

"What you all witnessed at the end of this season, in seeing Wilko pick up all the awards, was something that I already knew about Tom; he's a genuine player who deserves all the accolades he gets.

"Even going back to when I joined in 2019, Wilko was a target because I knew what he could bring, I coached him as a kid and I knew back then he had a future in the game.

"Tom is one of them players who gets on with his job and does this really well, week in, week out.

"If I had a squad full of players with Tom Wilkinson's attitude, work ethic and commitment, I'd be a happy coach."

Director Ashley Kilpatrick added: "It’s brilliant to have Wilko back for another year.

"I think he’s been the standout player all season as shown at the presentation evening.

"He's your eight out of ten every week, he does the horrible carries when we’re up against it.

"He tightens that middle for us and his improvement from when he first signed for the club to now is a sign of what hard work does and I think he will only get better and better.

"He was one we had to get signed up quickly before other clubs came calling for him, which I’m sure there would have been plenty of."

Wilkinson secured the player's player of the year, coaches' player of the year, the official supporters group's player of the year, the away supporters' player of the year and directors' player of the year awards.