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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Raiders boss Schofield in talks with big names

BARROW Raiders coach Garry Schofield has been in talks with ‘big-name’ players about a move to Craven Park.

Schofield took his first outdoor training session with his squad in two weeks on Saturday, but spent much of the rest of the weekend looking to strengthen his hand.

“I had a couple of meetings with a couple of lads this weekend – at the moment I’m not prepared to reveal who I am in discussions with, but they are quality players and it is just a matter of seeing where they are,” said the Barrow coach.

“Certainly, the first question is how committed are they to playing, not just for myself but for Barrow RL. I had those meetings with a couple of big-name players.

“We all know the chairman (Des Johnston) is in Australia, but he gets back around December 22 and everything will be put in place then.

“I’m sure the Barrow supporters will be very excited come the start of the season.”

Schofield comes to Barrow with strong links to several clubs, especially Super League giants Leeds Rhinos.

Among the youngsters at Leeds is forward Brad Singleton, who has been given a first-team jersey for the 2011 season, but who could go out on a loan or dual-registration deal to gain first-team action.

The Raiders boss said he knew about both Singleton and Warrington’s Ryan Shaw – another Barrow Island youth product – and added: “Without a doubt I’m aware of Brad Singleton and Ryan Shaw.

“We know all about the dual-registration arrangements and there are a lot of young lads at Super League clubs looking for first-team rugby.

“If they aren’t quite ready to get it at Super League level, they will still be quality players and good for clubs at our level.

“But at the moment, I’ve got a squad of 21 or 22 players and everyone will be given the same opportunity to impress.

“I know what most of the players can do already anyway.

“The fact of the matter is as well, that we don’t have an A-team, so we can’t have a squad of more than 30 players, because if the lads are not playing then they will get disheartened.

“The squad at the moment is pretty good, but if any loan or dual-registration players are required, maybe because of injury, or for whatever reason, then I would look at those type of players, no doubt about it.”

Schofield and his current squad will be back at Craven Park tonight, having gone through their first outdoor training session in more than a fortnight on Saturday. The first-team boss was helped by conditioner Martin Clawson, the former Bradford Bulls and Crusaders man who has come in to help out at Barrow.

“They have had instructions from the new conditioner, Martin Clawson, and they have been working very hard,” Schofield said of his players.

“They have been working hard in the gym and now the weather is improving we can get really into the running and the hard work to get the fitness levels where they should be.”

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