In the latest of a new series as a part of our match preview line-up, we will be looking at 5 players in the opposition line-up to look out for once they take to the field against the Cougars at the weekend.
We move on to the next edition of the ‘Ones To Watch’ series with Sunday’s opponents at Derwent Park, Workington Town.
An exciting half back who can also provide cover in the hooker role if required, Jamie Doran is a firm fans favourite at Derwent Park.
His ability of turning any game with his skill and ability makes him one of the most dangerous individual opponents that the Cougars will face this season.
As well as that, his physique, strength, and deceptive pace make Jamie quick off the mark and difficult to stop once in full flow.
Born down the road in Whitehaven, Doran played his junior rugby in league with Kells as well as union with St Benedict’s RUFC.
He came to the attention of Wigan Warriors and after signing for them he became a prominent player in their Academy set up which led to him making his debut in the cauldron of a derby against St Helens before a further appearance would follow against the Widnes Vikings.
Early into the 2015 season, Doran would initially join Workington on loan and the move was made permanent when he signed a two-year contract at Derwent Park following the conclusion of that season.
A regular starter, Jamie has quickly clocked up over 100 career appearances, marking his landmark appearance with a try against the Cougars, and has scored 15 tries in the process including a memorable full length of the field effort against the London Skolars that won the try of the year contest.
2017 would prove to be a fruitful year for Doran and his performances were awarded as he scooped the Player of the Year award, Players Player of the Year, The Ladies Committee Player of the Year and Travellers Rest Supporters Club Player of the Year.
Doran would then put pen to paper on a new three-year contract at the club midway through the 2018 season and has continued to cement himself as one of Workington’s key players under first Leon Pryce, and now Chris Thorman.
Ireland international Dec O’Donnell is now into his third season at Derwent Park after initially joining the club on loan early into the 2019 season.
Established as a key figure within the squad in Cumbria, Dec had originally signed a full-time deal with the Ottawa Aces for this season. But with the Canadian side deferring their entry into the competition due to Covid, Workington acted quickly to retain O’Donnell once he became a free agent.
Strong in defence and skilful with ball in hand, his versatility provides options and strength to the Workington side and his enthusiasm and winning mentality is regularly praised by his coach and teammates.
A product of the youth system at the Wigan Warriors, after his departure from the DW Stadium the hooker would join local rivals Leigh Centurions.
With chances limited at Leigh Sports Village, O’Donnell would join Workington, initially on a loan deal, in March 2019 with his standout performances for Town resulting in Chris Thorman acting quickly to secure his services on a permanent basis.
Playing a starring role as Workington made the League One play-offs, he started the 2020 season brightly before Covid-19 would bring the season to a premature end.
This would catch the eye of Ottawa, who secured his services before the effects of the pandemic forced them to defer their entry by 12 months and allow O’Donnell to return to Workington for this season.
Workington’s record points scorer, half-back Carl Forber is one of the most established half-backs in the division.
An experienced Stand-off who is prolific with the boot and now into his eleventh season with Workington, Carl played his junior rugby at amateur club Thatto Heath before joining the St Helens Academy set-up aged 16 playing alongside the likes of England star James Graham.
He managed to break into the first team in 2004 and featured twice in Super League for the Saints before signing for the Leigh Centurions in 2005.
Despite finishing top points scorer that season for Leigh, he made the move to Cumbria for his first spell with Town, signing for the club in December 2006.
After two successful seasons at Derwent Park, Carl decided to move closer to home signing for the Blackpool Panthers midway through the 2009 season, but due to the demise of the Panthers after financial problems, Carl headed to the Swinton Lions and a move to Oldham followed.
After just one season at Whitebank, Carl returned to Town in 2012 where he has remained ever since.
Forber has chalked up over 300 career appearances and well over 1000 career points with the Cumbrian club and enjoyed a testimonial year in 2019.
He would sign on for his 11th season in the blue and white of Workington for this season during the Covid pandemic that brought the 2020 season to a premature end.
He recently surpassed 1,000 career goals to another achievement to an already landmark career.
Nominated for the Betfred League 1 Young Player of the Year award earlier this week, Brad Holroyd is fast making a name for himself as one of the best young players outside of Super League.
Coming through the youth system at St Helens, Brad would play in an Academy Championship Grand Final for the Saints whilst also earning international honours for the England Lions Under 19’s side.
However, he would depart the Totally Wicked Stadium and sign with the Leigh Centurions.
Whilst at Leigh Sports Village, Holroyd would score against Town on his professional debut for the Centurions in the 2019 edition of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.
But which chances limited as Leigh looked to earn a spot in the Super League, he moved to Rochdale on loan for the 2020 season but his time at Spotland was cut short as the Covid-19 pandemic brought a premature end to the campaign.
With the Centurions awarded the spot vacated by the Toronto Wolfpack in the top division, the winger was released by the club and signed a one-year deal with Workington for the 2021 season.
Establishing himself as a key figure in the Workington side, he has reached double figures for tries in a breakout season with three of those coming against the Cougars. The last of which was the winning score in Town’s victory at Cougar Park in August.
His performances in 2021 have seen him linked with a move to Championship side Widnes Vikings for next season.
Returning ahead of this season for his second spell with the club, Jake Moore re-signed with Workington following the decision taken by Ottawa to defer their entry into the division by twelve months.
Moore will be looking for a promotion double after being a key member of the Whitehaven side that won League 1 back in 2019 and he will also be looking to carry on his form from that season after he was named as one of the two back-row forwards in the divisional team of the year.
A product of the Wigan Warriors scholarship system, Moore signed professional terms with the then World Champions and despite find first team opportunities limited he would star in the Warriors academy championship triumph against arch-rivals St Helens and earn international honours with the England academy.
Following his departure from the DW Stadium, he would sign with his hometown club Whitehaven for brief spell before dropping into the National Conference League to sign with the Wath Brow Hornets.
Impressing for the Hornets, Workington would secure his services for the first time midway through the 2017 season and would continue to impress before making the decision to move to Whitehaven ahead of the 2019 campaign.
He would score 11 tries and kick 51 goals to earn his spot in the League 1 Team of the Year as Haven would earn promotion to the Championship as Champions of the third tier.
Signing a new deal at the Rec following promotion, Covid would cut the season short and allow Jake to sign with the Ottawa Aces ahead of the 2021 season.
But, the continued affects of the pandemic would result in the Aces deferring their entry and allowed Moore to be one of three players to sign with Workington.
By Joshua Chapman