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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Barrow Raiders confirm talks held with Super League club over dual-reg

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt has confirmed the club held discussions with a Super League team over a potential dual-registration tie-up.

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PROS AND CONS Raiders coaches Phil Atkinson (left) and Darren Holt BILL WATKINSON

But those negotiations only hardened his stance against the programme, which has seen numerous Championship sides fielding top-flight players this season.

Holt has stood firm in his opposition to the system, though Barrow chairman David Sharpe last week hinted at a change in tack as he said all avenues were being explored.

The Raiders coach has now confirmed talks were held with an unnamed side about a link-up, but they only confirmed his suspicions.

“Since it was announced, I have had my reservations about it, just thinking about the impact, how it would work, what benefits it would bring, the pros and cons,” Holt said.

“But that’s my opinion, so we decided to look into it, not just dismiss it out of hand, but go through the process and it might not have been what I thought it would be.

“We’ve gone down the route of having discussions in detail about how things would work and the expectations, conditions, proposals and all this. It really is not a viable option, especially not for Barrow, with our geographical location.

“Other clubs, like Hunslet, for instance, who have Leeds right next door to them, it might be a smoother relationship between the clubs, but even then my main reservations are the longer term ramifications of any link-up like this.

“There is one thing about Barrow over the recent years, it has been proven you should never sacrifice long-term aims for a bit of short-term gain.

“If the club are at some disadvantage this year because we are not dual-reg – which I genuinely do not think we are, there is nothing to back that up – then you can start talking about long-term aims for short-term gains.

“We are not going to sacrifice that. It’s not the right thing for Barrow as a club and this is the way we have decided to go.

“I challenge anybody who was party to these discussions and who knew the details, to come out and say ‘this is what we should do’.

“I challenge anybody to say that.”

The talks with the Super League club’s head coach revealed that players would be made available early in the week to Raiders, but could be called back ahead of the weekend.

They would not do fitness training or conditioning at Craven Park and would not carry out contact work with the rest of the squad, limiting them to a DVD session and a 40-minute game run.

While other clubs, including Sunday’s opponents Whitehaven have been happy to benefit with St Helens players such as Ade Gardner and Tommy Makinson featuring for them, Holt and his coaching staff did not want such restrictions placed on them.

“We have gone down the route of examining it, asking the questions and seeing exactly what it would entail, how it would impact us and how it would work,” the Barrow coach said.

“We have explored it, but the information which came back to us, just pushed us down the route that our stance is more than vindicated in regard to the dual-reg set-up as it is.

“All these people saying ‘Barrow need to go down dual-reg, we’re missing out by not doing this’, if you look at the league table, Swinton, York, all the teams utilising this, where is the benefit they are getting? They are still down at the bottom of the league.

“It just doesn’t stack up for me.

“As a whole thing, myself, Acky, Dean Marwood and the board, when we investigated, looked into it and had the discussions, it was a no-brainer that the dual-reg route was not the way to go.”

l Barrow Raiders are running a supporters coach to the match against Leigh Centurions on Thursday (7.30pm kick-off).

The coach will leave Walney Promenade at 4pm and the cost is £14 for adults and £12 for children aged 12 and under. Bookings can be made at the Rugby Shop, Scott Street.

Have your say

Well done Holty, putthe club 1st & formost.

It will come good for BRLFC over the season, We will earn the reputation of putting our contracted players welfare ahead of the whims of SL clubs who want to use our club to benefit themselves only.

Wise move.

Posted by Baz Eye on 15 March 2013 at 17:09

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