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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Holty pleased with high standards in Barrow Raiders training

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt has been impressed with the attitude of his players across the board since pre-season started last week.

The coach himself missed some of this week’s sessions due to a contagious glandular infection which he did not want to spread to his squad.

But there have been no such problems of absenteeism from the team themselves, with the Craven Park chief delighted with the levels of commitment and training seen in the thrice-weekly sessions.

“The effort from the boys has been there for everyone to see and I couldn’t have asked more from them,” said Holt, whose role at training on Tuesday night was taken over by assistants Phil Atkinson and Dean Marwood.

“I challenged them at the end of the first week and said the trick is not to let the standards drop. If anything, we want to keep improving.

“It is a shorter pre-season this year, but there has been a shorter turnaround from last season, so their fitness levels shouldn’t have dipped that much.

“It’s plain to see after the first few sessions which players need a bit of work and which players don’t.

“After the first week we have taken stock and we will be going forward trying to get everyone as ready as we can for a tough season.”

Barrow have another eight weeks before the start of the Championship campaign at Hunslet Hawks on February 3.

They have three pre-season matches before then in January – making for a total of 24 training sessions and three games to prepare for the season.

Holt knows that is little enough time, but has been happy with the fitness levels the players have brought into the sessions thanks to their own work.

He added: “We only get three training sessions a week – we’re not full-time. What I have got down there is a lot of boys who do their own work outside of normal training hours, so to speak.

“Fitness levels as a whole were quite good, it’s just trying to tailor the sessions now so they are getting somewhere near their peaks for the start of the season and then continue to improve as the season goes on.”

On his own absence, Holt insisted there would be no let-up in standards and added: “I’ve been told to stay away from training, because it is contagious and if someone catches it, then that is a week of their pre-season gone as well.

“I’m better off staying away, we already have the programmes in place and Phil and Deano will be taking them through it.

“I rang Acky and told him exactly what I expect – you can’t let things slip, you’ve got to keep on top of them.”

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