Play-offs the target as League One season gets underway

James Gordon

Whitehaven centre Jason Mossop says reaching the play-offs is the minimum target for the club this season.

Under new coach Garry Charlton, Haven have made a number of changes to their squad and get underway at home to troubled Keighley Cougars on Sunday.

Mossop said: “We haven’t sat down and set our personal goals yet as a team, but I think we’ve got to be aiming for the play-offs.

“We still maybe need a couple of players, but on paper I think we’ve got a really good squad with youth and experience, and if we can keep all them lads together, there’s certainly no reason why we shouldn’t be up there competing.

“I think if we didn’t make the play-offs, it would be an unsuccessful season really.”

Having lost in the promotion final to Barrow the previous year, Whitehaven missed out on the play-offs in 2018 on points difference, finishing sixth.

That resulted in the departure of player-coach Carl Forster, who has gone to Championship side Rochdale.

With behemoths Toulouse, Toronto and Bradford all since departed from the division, it promises to be a wide open promotion battle in League One amongst the 11 competing teams.

The line-up includes Whitehaven and Cumbrian rivals Workington, Welsh sides North Wales Crusaders and new-look West Wales Raiders, London Skolars and Coventry Bears.

Keighley, Hunslet and Doncaster are in from Yorkshire, alongside Oldham from west of the Pennines and then Newcastle Thunder in the north east.