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Whitehaven go Down Under to get PNG duo

White haven are using the Australian route to get their overseas duo over in time for the League One season.
Jessie Joe Parker and Dion Aiye faced a month long wait for visa approval if they had stayed in their native Papua New Guinea.
But the Whitehaven club has picked up the tab to fly the pair to Brisbane and wait for much less time to receive the necessary documentation.
General manager Amanda Hewer said: “After completing their visa applications we found out that the next available appointment date at the High Commission was not until February 15.
“After this appointment their applications would be sent to Manila for the decision to be made.
“As a club we feel this date is far too late and after spending the last week speaking to various people we have now been given the option to fly them both over to Brisbane where they will remain until their visas are approved.
“This process will only take five days in Brisbane when it takes 28 days in Papua
New Guinea.
“The extra cost of this has come as a shock to the club so any financial help would be greatly appreciated.”
Fans have already started a crowdfunding page on facebook hoping to raise £2,000.
Last year Aiye was late in arriving back in west Cumbria after a long, drawn-out affair with his visa application in Papua New Guinea.
Whitehaven had initially hoped to have them back in time for the Ike Southward Memorial match with Workington Town on February 4 but the target is now likely to be before the opening League One game with Oldham a fortnight later.
Whitehaven continue their preparations for that opening game with a second warm-up match tomorrow at the Recreation Ground. Swinton Lions are the visitors, who like Haven were in friendly action against Super League opposition last week-end.
Haven coach Carl Forster will be looking to use more of his squad on Sunday (kick off 3pm) after 16 of them saw action in Friday’s 62-0 defeat at Super League Widnes Vikings.
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