Jonty Gorley is set to replace Gary Charlton as head coach of Whitehaven RLFC from next season.

Charlton, who guided the club back into the Championship and has overseen a stellar campaign which has them in contention for promotion to Super League, will move into a director of rugby role after the season wraps up.

And it will be assistant Gorley who moves into the hotseat, with the club's board wasting no time in appointing the outgoing boss' replacement from within.

Gorley said: "I am privileged and excited to be taking over as head coach at Whitehaven.

"It's a great personal honour for me to be considered and approached to be head coach of this club.

"I didn't think I would ever get the chance to be a head coach, so I am really looking forward to the challenge.

"I would like to thank the club's board for giving me this opportunity.

"It obviously helps that I am already at the club, knowing the lads, the backroom staff, the directors and how the club works.

"We have already started putting together a squad that I feel will compete and build on from this season, and at this point we've got 18 already committed to the club, with hopefully another couple agreeing by the end of this week.

"I have been involved with professional rugby league for eight years now as an assistant coach and before that I spent a good 12 years plus involved with local community clubs, scholarships and academies.

"I've worked under some great coaches who have taught me a lot, be that when I was playing or coaching, and this will stand me in good stead for the job ahead.

"I can't wait to get started in the role now and see what we can achieve at this club."

Director Gary Eilbeck added: "Jonty was the natural choice for us as a board.

"He is a fantastic coach on the field and a true rugby league gentleman off it.

"We wish Jonty all the best and of course will continue to support him, as we always have, to the very best of our ability as a club."

Charlton will take charge of his final home game at the LEL Arena on Sunday against Halifax, when the home support will also bid farewell to veteran star Jessie Joe Parker.

Speaking after his new role was revealed, he said: “I was approached by the board in 2018 and was immediately interested in the vision shown by the club going back to local players, as me and Jonty both knew that the area has the talent if done right.

“We put together a great set of lads who really bought into what we wanted, and the result was a team full of enthusiasm and commitment.

“Our achievements, although above other people’s expectations, were up there with what we believed we could achieve, and 2019 will always be a highlight of my career in pro rugby.”

He continued: “This season we were again written off, some even going as far as to say we wouldn’t win a single game, in what is the toughest Championship I’ve seen, especially for a club like Whitehaven given the difference in spending and funding levels.

“Pound for pound spent we’re right up there with the top clubs in terms of on field performance."