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Friday, 01 August 2014

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All Star Barrow Raiders land ex-Super League winger

A QUARTET of Barrow Raiders players have made the Championship One All-Star team – on the same day the club announced the signing of a new star for 2013.

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Liam Harrison, Andy Ballard, Liam Campbell and Dan Toal will be joined at Craven Park next year by former Salford and Leigh winger Adam Clay.

The awesome foursome formed the biggest single-club contingent in the All-Star line-up, picked based on performances throughout the year.

“If you look at the boys from our team who have got in there, all of them have put in performances all year round and they deserve their place,” said Barrow coach Darren Holt, who last week praised the efforts of skipper Harrison in being nominated for Championship One Player-of-the-Year at tonight’s awards ceremony in Leeds.

“All throughout this year, those four lads have been outstanding for us at one time or another, so I think their places are fully justified.”

Asked about the individuals selected alongside three players from Doncaster, three from Workington, two from Whitehaven and one from London Skolars, Holt added: “Liam (Campbell) deserves credit for what he has done this year.

“I always said in years gone by that he has been a quality player, but he was always a bit on the slight side and he was susceptible to injuries because of the way he played the game.

“He has worked hard, put a bit of size on and now he can look after and manage those problems and he has had an injury-free season.

“The longer he can do that, the more of an asset he is going to be to Barrow RL.”

On Ballard, Holt said: “I just knew at this level that putting Andy in at full-back would work. He was one of our key signings at the start of the year and he has been brilliant for us all year.

“He offers a lot of threat at the back from full-back and some of his performances, some of his tries, I’m sure the supporters of the club would agree have been very, very good.”

And on Toal, he added: “It’s Dan’s first year in the professional game and he goes and gets himself in the team of the year.

“He started off the season like a house on fire, he was absolutely superb early doors.

“I think Toaly will agree it would have been difficult to sustain that level of performance throughout the whole season, if you watch the last couple of games, he has been back up to those levels – he has been superb for us again.

“For his first season in the professional game, I don’t think you could have expected much more from anybody.

“In fact, he has surpassed everyone’s expectations.”

Campbell is the only one of the four to be confirmed as part of the Barrow side for next season so far, with Ballard set to join rivals Swinton Lions.

Clay will be involved though, having played in the Salford City Reds Academy set-up alongside fellow new recruits Max Wiper and Matthew Haggerty – signed from Whitehaven at the start of the month.

He started out at Leigh Miners Rangers and joined Salford from their ranks, being named Academy player-of-the-year for the Super League side in 2010.

He made his debut for the City Reds in 2011, scoring five tries in four first-team appearances, before moving to the Centurions midway through this season.

“He’s still only a young lad, but I remember watching him earlier this year for Salford on Sky and he is a big, big lad,” Holt said of the new signing, who has penned a one-year deal.

“He’s very strong and stocky and hard to pull down.

“When he was highlighted to me, I quickly got in touch and he was very keen on coming up. It adds competition for places and gives us an option we haven’t had this year with a different type of winger.

“They all have their own strengths, but Adam’s size and physical presence give us another option.”

Raiders director of rugby Andy Gaffney added: “Adam is a great signing for the club and I’m sure he will make a big impact in the Championship next season.

“He comes to us with Super League and Championship experience and that will be valuable for the side as we go up a level.”

More signings are due to be announced by Barrow in the build-up to Sunday’s Championship One Grand Final against Doncaster at Warrington.

So far, 13 players have been recruited for next season, with Toal and Scott Kaighan the latest to be announced this week.

Have your say

andy...players on contracts will only get paid until the 1st of november when contracts run out

Posted by Mike hunt on 28 September 2012 at 10:45

Mike,
im more worried about where the money comes from for wages over the next few months,with no gate reciepts.
this is where a lot of struggle financially.

I should have worded it better

Posted by andy ball on 27 September 2012 at 07:43

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