Doran wants Whitehaven progress

James Gordon

Whitehaven get their Northern Rail Cup campaign underway with a trip to Hunslet on Wednesday, and back-rower Lee Doran wants them to go far in the competition.

Doran, 30, is a two-time Northern Rail Cup winner, having won the competition with Leigh and Widnes, as well as suffering a defeat in the final with the Vikings in 2010.

He said: “I’d like to think so. It’s a fantastic concept and competition that I’ve been lucky enough to win twice. 

“It’s a fantastic day – it sort of passes you by before you know it, it’s only now reflecting back that you appreciate how good it was.

“We’re obviously concentrating on the league this season, but we’re in it (the Northern Rail Cup) to win it! We’re just going to take one game at a time in both league and cup, and just keep knocking them down.”

The Ireland international was Player of the Year for Widnes in 2010, but was deemed surplus to requirements ahead of the 2011 season, winding up in Cumbria with Whitehaven.

The former Rochdale and Oldham second row has taken on more responsibility, holding training for Whitehaven’s Lancashire based players on a Monday and Tuesday night, before the whole squad get together in Cumbria on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.

He added: “It’s been a mixed pre-season in terms of games. We’ve won one, drawn one and lost one, but we’ve got what we needed to get out of the games.

“We’ve had a tough pre-season, we have been flogged, but everything is where it needs to be.”