Whitehaven coach Gary Charlton will be looking to use as many players as possible in Sunday’s Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game at Derwent Park.

Charlton plans to speak with opponents Workington Town about the possibility of using unlimited substitutes, instead of the usual regulation four replacements.

He said: “We don’t have everyone in the squad available because of pre-booked breaks and an injury, but everyone else is champing at the bit for a game.

"We also have a couple of local trialists we would like to look at so, if we can reach an agreement on substitutions, it will be very welcome.

“At the time the lads booked their breaks, we had no dates arranged for pre-season games so we’re not upset about that.

"Chris Taylor is the main concern. He picked up a bad knee injury at the back-end of last season and, although he has trained well, the final call will be left to him whether he’s ready to play on Sunday.”

Charlton has been well pleased with preparations so far and is looking forward to seeing his new charges in action at Derwent Park.

“Certainly fitness-wise, the lads will be where I would expect them to be at this stage, but perhaps we haven’t done as much ball work as we might have with more time,” said the coach.

“They have all worked really hard in pre-season and I know they are all looking forward to a game against Town. We will be training Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning in preparation for the game.”

Charlton also confirmed he is still on the look-out for another pre-season friendly, although initial attempts had fallen short.

He said: “We have had a few knock-backs but we are still in the process of talking to clubs about a game.

"I would like to get another one in before the first League One game on February 17.”

Whitehaven are at Town on Sunday and follow-up with a trip down to Barrow the following Sunday.

They are due to start their League One fixture programme against Keighley Cougars, while Town begin their 2019 season, also on February 17, with a trip to Oldham.

Meanwhile, derby hero Dan Abram has confirmed he has signed a one-year deal with Rochdale Hornets, joining former coach Carl Forster after being released from his contract by the Recreation Ground club.

He said on Hornets’ website: “I’m honoured and excited to be joining Rochdale Hornets.

"There were a number of clubs that showed interest me and I thank them for that but, with the recent positive off-field announcements the club have made, plus the chance to work with Carl again, made the decision to join Hornets the right one.”