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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Barrow Raiders pushing on into 2012

COME rain or shine – and it has mostly been the former so far this pre-season – Barrow Raiders have been putting their noses to the grindstone under new boss Darren Holt.

The squad finished their second week of training sessions on Friday, with a large contingent of players having been put through their paces at Craven Park and in the gym.

Holt and assistant boss Phil Atkinson are busy preparing their newly-assembled team of seasoned pros, rookie amateurs, rugby union converts and veteran league men.

The pre-season fixtures start on Sunday, January 8, with a match against a BARLA Cumbria side, with the Northern Rail Cup getting under way a month later and the Championship One season in March.

Holt has been impressed with the way the squad have come together in the sessions under the Hindpool lights and said: “The reaction from the boys has been very good.

“I always knew if you got a predominantly local team down there, then the banter, the camaraderie and the team spirit is a given. That has been evident already.

“I’m a big believer that you can have a laugh and a joke at training – I always enjoyed a laugh and a joke with the lads – so long as you are doing the hard work as well, the sessions are ticking over and we are working on the stuff we need to work on. Then, I have no problem with it.

“If people start taking the mick and they are not doing the right stuff, then we have to address it, but that hasn’t been the case and I don’t think it will be going forward. In the first two weeks, we have covered a lot of areas and done a lot of hard work.

“It’s pre-season, so we are getting some mileage in the legs and the reaction from the boys has been superb.

“The weather has been a bit poor for us, which has restricted some of the stuff, but what can you do in December?”

Thursday’s sessions saw amateurs Dan Toal and Andy Litherland join their professional counterparts, who now include the likes of Brad Marwood and Andrew Dawson – who themselves have only just signed their first pro deals.

Friday morning’s snow did not put a damper on things, as the club spent the night going through sessions at DW Sports, where they have recently agreed a new partnership. Holt sees that as being beneficial for the players, allowing them to vary the pre-season routine as they go through three sessions every week.

He added: “The snow tied in well, because we have a partnership with DW and it was a gym session down there. They put a couple of classes on for us.

“We have been there before and it was a very hard session. They are doing a great job down there with us and we are looking forward to going down there for the rest of the season.

“It means you can mix up the training and give the lads something different.”

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