Whitehaven have pulled off a major coup by signing Workington Town’s most improved player in the 2018 season – winger/full-back Sam Forrester.

Forrester, who has signed a one-year deal with Haven, picked up the accolade at the recent Town presentation dinner after scoring 13 tries in 20 senior appearances last term.

He said: “I’m excited for the new challenge of what lies ahead for me at Whitehaven. Jonty and Charlo were a big factor in me making the move and also the way the club is wanting to do things this year. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season and meeting all the lads.

“There are some great people at Workington Town and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Forrester initially had few chances at Town when Phil Veivers was in charge, and drifted away from the club, but Leon Pryce re-signed him and gave him his opportunities last season until injuries curtailed his appearances.

Haven’s new head coach Gary Charlton knows all about Forrester’s potential. He said: “Sam is someone that all the coaching team wanted as we see him as a big piece of the jigsaw we are putting together. He has pace to burn and also great lines of running. Put that with good defence and an ability to play under pressure, he’s a great signing for the club.”

Forrester started his amateur career at Maryport gaining international honours with England Community Lions Under-18s, touring South Africa and Lebanon and also with the BARLA Open Age squad which toured Australia.

He is the first ‘new’ signing ahead of the 2019 season but Haven fans can expect a steady stream of announcements over the next few weeks as the full squad is unveiled.

Charlton, Jonty Gorley and Scott McAvoy form an experienced, locally-based coaching team and expect the bulk of their squad to be from the county. Pre-season training is due to start early in December and three warm-up matches are being lined up for January/February. Barrow and Workington Town will provide the opposition in two.