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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Holt’s ‘guilt’ doesn’t stop him raiding old club for players

BARROW RL boss Darren Holt has admitted to feeling guilty about raiding former club Workington for players – but not enough to have stopped him doing it.

The new Raiders player/coach has snapped up three Town men since taking over at Craven Park two weeks ago.

Furness-based trio Ruairi McGoff, Scott Kaighan and Aaron Low have all called time on their spells up the coast to return to their hometown club.

Holt himself was a key part of the Workington set-up in Championship One this year as well, meaning Barrow have essentially pillaged a talented quartet from their county rivals.

The 35-year-old player/coach has also been linked with Town hooker Jack Pedley – another former Raiders youngster – and admits to some remorse over taking so many players from Derwent Park.

“If I’m honest, yes I do feel a little guilty,” he said.

“I know that Workington have looked after these lads – they took them up there when Barrow weren’t giving them a chance a few years ago and they have looked after them very well.

“But by the same token, all the Barrow lads who have gone up there have done a sterling job for Workington.

“I’m sure there are no bad feelings between the two. I know Charlo (Workington coach Gary Charlton) will know the situation and once Barrow found themselves in this situation, he knew the Barrow lads would at least get a phone call from whoever took over.

“I know Charlo very well, he is currently on with assembling his squad for next year and obviously he would have been talking to these players as well, and we have been lucky enough to attract them back down to their hometown club – which is always a big pull for them.

“It’s important to say that they have done very well for Workington and Workington have treated them very well, looked after them, and I am sure there is mutual respect between them for that.

“The lads know Workington gave them a chance and Workington know the Barrow lads who went up there have done a good job for them over the two years.

“It has been a profitable partnership and we are just lucky enough that the situation is that a lot of these lads wanted to come down and play at their hometown club.”

Holt has been busy assembling a squad since taking over at Craven Park at the start of November.

He came into a club with no players on board and with the task of rebuilding following Raiders’ relegation to Championship One and the revelation of huge debts by the new board.

The new coach has recruited 13 players in that time, all of them local, including the Workington trio, but Holt insisted he was not doing it just for the sake of bringing in local talent and would only bring men who wanted to play for Barrow.

“It’s good as the coach of a local team if they want to come down and play for their hometown club – that’s half the battle, because I am a big believer that I only want people at the club who want to play,” he added.

“Every lad I have signed so far has been champing at the bit to come down to their hometown club and basically start a new career.”

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