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Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 13:37 UK

No cash for players - Whitehaven coach Ged Stokes

Ged Stokes
Stokes has been in charge at Haven since March 2008

Whitehaven head coach Ged Stokes has called on supporters to be realistic about squad improvements because of the club's financial situation.

Chairman Dick Raaz revealed the club's debt was a concern in May, and despite a run of 10 straight defeats, Stokes says imports are not forthcoming.

Stokes told BBC Radio Cumbria: "We have no money to replace players.

"We're trying to keep this club afloat, avoid relegation and ensure supporters have something to fight for."

Raaz's comments earlier this year revealed that the club must "improve their finances by £100,000 over the course of the season", with the revenue to be generated from gate receipts, corporate hospitality, player sales and prize money.

On the field, Haven have been limited to signing dual registration players for much of the campaign, with Stefan Marsh and Josh Vievers from Wigan among the players to switch on those terms already this season.

Added to those restraints has been the impact of injuries in recent weeks, with full-back Craig Benson the latest of the Kiwi's key players to be sidelined.

Benson picked up a rib cartilage injury in a reserve grade victory over Oldham on Saturday which could rule him out for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile Stokes revealed his frustration after the Marras slipped to a 40-4 defeat by Widnes on Thursday.

Despite holding the Vikings to 18-4 at the break, Haven folded in the second period, conceding another four tries without reply.

"I'm disappointed in the result and scoreline, but at times we looked better than that," Stokes added.

"Defensively we really worked hard, just a few individual errors and we played a very good side who will capitalise on that.

"I thought the physical effort was very good, but there were plenty of errors from our side under pressure, attitude-wise you couldn't fault us."

Whitehaven, who have been coached by Stokes since March 2008, are now 10th in the Championship, five points clear of bottom side Keighley.

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see also
Whitehaven chairman predicts cuts
12 May 10 |  Rugby League
Haven sign dual-code back Philip
15 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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