Whitmore, who has 12 goals to his name this season despite missing a large chunk of it through injury, is expected to miss Rovers’ final five games.
‘It’s a massive blow,’ said coach Kevin Gillease of a player this week’s GP Football Podcast guest Tom Strawbridge said would be his pick to lead the line in any Muratti that might occur soon.
‘He has only just found out. He had hoped to continue to do his studies from home, but he has to go back for practical lessons,’ added Gillease, who won’t be able to count on new boy Jake Stephens either.
Stephens, who scored on debut recently and featured late on against Saints last weekend, is also returning to the UK.
Gillease is thought not inclined to go chasing Will Fazakerley, who has been absent for much of the campaign and, instead will rely on the goal prowess of Carlos Canha, veteran Dale Webb and Blair Howitt, who he hinted might be pushed into a more forward role.
‘We missed him [Whitmore] for the majority of the season anyway, so we will find a way,’ added the coach of the league leaders.
Meanwhile, ahead of his club’s FNB Priaulx league clash at the Corbet Field tonight, Northerners president Colin Kimber dismissed claims that Ross Cameron was set to return as first-team coach.
‘That is pure rumour and speculation and untrue,’ said Kimber. ‘I can guarantee that,’ he added.
Jose Alvarez, who was cruelly denied a league title by last year’s initial Covid outbreak, had Cameron, currently the club’s U18s coach, alongside him in the dugout for the recent match with St Martin’s.
One suggestion doing the rounds is that Cameron is looking for an assistant to help him and Kimber added: ‘I can’t say that one day he won’t be our Priaulx coach.’