Whitehaven coach Jonty Gorley is sticking to the basic 17-strong squad for Sunday’s opening game at Workington Town.
Although opposite number Chris Thorman is going with a 20/21 squad Gorley has decided to go with the 17 who would be permitted for a League game.
“It shows respect to the game in memory of Ike and it gives players more minutes in the middle, which doesn’t happen when you are regularly making changes.
“I want to give my middles, in particular, plenty of minutes out there on the park.
“The players who aren’t involved in this one will certainly get a blow out next week at Swinton, when we will probably go with a bigger squad.
“We had 31 players in the squad last year, and it was difficult for Gary Charlton and myself with no Academy or reserves to keep people happy.
“So I’m pleased with the squad I’ve got and more than happy to go with the 24 we have this time. If something happens we would probably look at loan players but for the moment this is what we’ve got and what we are going with.”
Gorley grew up supporting Town before playing for them and he also had nine years coaching at the club.
“It’s good in some way that I’m going there in my first game as Whitehaven head coach because I want to go there and put in a performance,” he said.
Gorley has named four new signings in his 17 – Australian duo Josh Martin and Alex Bishop, along with Dave Eccleston and former Town and Newcastle forward, Liam McAvoy.
The squad is: Martin, Eccleston, Taylor, Dixon, Bulman, Bishop, Williams, Riley, Newton, McAvoy, Moore, Holliday, Wilkinson, Phillips, Walker, Aiye, Dawson.