After a brilliant season in 2021, Whitehaven will want to continue in the same direction and build on their play-off finish last season in 2022.
However, doing so will be very hard with plenty of play-off rivals recruiting wisely ahead of the new season whilst Whitehaven lost star man Lachlan Walmsley to promotion chasing Halifax.
That said, Whitehaven’s preparations for the new season were boosted today as they announced the signing of Australian utility back Josh Martin beating competition from down under and in the UK to secure him on a one-year deal much like they did with Walmsley ahead of last season with the winger proving to be arguably the best signing in second tier last term.
Martin’s arrival will go some way to lessening the departure of Walmsley as the club prepares for a big 2022. His versatility will no doubt be key with him being comfortable all across the backline giving coach Jonty Gorley a number of options when considering how best to use him when the Championship season gets under way at the end of January.
Just 20 years old, he has huge potential and Whitehaven are keen to draw it out of him and coach Gorley could very well be the man to do it.
Speaking on signing the young back, Gorley said: “We were on the lookout for an outside back that could cover the back 5 . An agent from Australia, John Taulaga, got in touch with us regarding a young kid called Josh Martin. He sent some clips over of Josh and immediately liked what I saw. Josh is 20-year old and looks like a good player, he’s athletic and his balance is good which makes him hard to tackle when he is carrying the ball, he looks great in the air, which is a positive attacking wise and defensively. When I spoke to Josh and his parents they were all really keen for him to come to us and enjoy the experience in the UK and hopefully he can forge a good career on the back of coming here. I really think Josh can be a surprise package for us and I can’t wait to see him play.”
Meanwhile Director Ashley Kilpatrick, who was key to securing Martin’s services, stated: “I’m thrilled to have Josh on board. He’s a young lad looking for an opportunity to play here in the UK and to make a name for himself. He’s played for Illawarra 20s and most recently thirroul, Josh offers Jonty versatility as he can play anywhere in the back line and is a goal kicker. Josh had a few offers back home and a few here so we’re delighted he believes that we are the club to help develop him over these next 12 months. Having spoke to josh for a number of months he’s keen to come here and prove himself he’s a humble young lad he’s also very grateful for this chance to come here.
“Can I just again thank the Vice Presidents for all their help during the off season, they really do help make recruitment a lot easier.”