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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Barrow Raiders boss Holt: No time to be amateur

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt will not let his professional players take an amateur approach to tomorrow’s clash with BARLA.

The pre-season showdown with Paul Crarey’s cream of the Great Britain crop is the second chance for the Barrow coach to assess his troops ahead of the Championship campaign (2pm kick-off).

Holt will rotate his back line to have a look at those men who did not feature in the 23-20 defeat to Keighley Cougars last week –including new boy Sean Casey – and expects all his players to show the right attitude.

“I know that Cresta will have had them training regularly to prepare for this game,” said Holt.

“Sometimes it can be a good thing and sometimes not when you don’t play together that much. They will be looking forward to this game, they will be keen to go out, make a point and put in a good performance.

“It’s going to a different game from last week. I think it’s going to be a bit more intense, I think they will be very up for the game and our lads have to be ready and hopefully match that.

“Yes it’s a pre-season friendly but we are gearing up for something bigger, which is the pre-season proper. We just have to prepare as normal and do the best we can in this game.

“We have to keep working on the things we need to work on. I highlighted some things from the DVD last week and obviously some areas need a bit of work. We have worked on them this week and the instruction needs to go out there ‘let’s have an improvement’.

“If we come of the end of this game with improvements in those areas, then we are going in the right direction.”

Asked if there was a chance his players might treat the opposition differently because they are amateurs, he added: “They can think that if they want, but then they will come off with egg on their faces – it’s as simple as that.

“Yes, they are amateurs, but it is the Great Britain amateur team and probably all of these guys could easily make the transition and step up to professional level anyway.

“It’s going to be a very, very tough game, hence why I thought it was going to be a good game to put in there in preparation for the league.

“It will be a hard run out against a different kind of team. Again, it is not about the result, it is just the things we need to work on and keep improving on them.”

The match will also give Holt a chance to look at some of the best amateurs in the game, with Millom’s Marcus O’Brien a player the Raiders coach has already expressed an admiration for.

He knows the opposition will be keen to impress on many levels and said: “It’s why this is such a good fixture. When we played the Cumbria BARLA last year, it gave the amateurs the opportunity to play against professional opposition, which is obviously good for them.

“Most of the guys who play for Cumbria BARLA and Great Britain BARLA could probably make that step up anyway.

“They will be a very well-drilled team. Cresta is involved there and he has been putting them through their paces.

“I know Cresta will be really looking forward to this game – he will be wanting to put one over on us.

“It’s a very good fixture. It is a pre-season friendly, but I think it will be a bit more intense than last week in the actual game and that’s what we need. It will be ideal preparation in getting ready for the season proper.”

Barrow will be without injured quintet Jamie Butler (wrist), Jack Spencer (ankle), Nathan Mossop (knee), Ruairi McGoff (knee) and Andrew Dawson (knee) tomorrow, while Aaron Low is also ruled out.

Skipper Liam Harrison twice missed training this week due to a sickness bug, but is expected to be available for tomorrow’s game, with Liam Campbell have overcome the same illness, which also affected Holt last weekend.

All the other members of the squad are available.

Raiders (from): Backhouse, Brennan, Campbell, Casey, Clay, Dandy, Finch, Haggarty, Haggerty, Haney, Harrison, Jones, Kaighan, Larkin, McGilvray, Marwood, Nixon, Toal, Whitehead, Wiper.

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