Raiders weigh up player contracts after title bid failure
Last updated at 17:11, Tuesday, 21 August 2012
CALAMITOUS failures on the field are putting the future contracts of the Barrow Raiders squad at risk.
Back-to-back defeats against Workington and Rochdale – with two of the worst performances of the season coming one after the other – have twice seen Barrow throw away their chance at the Championship One title.
Sunday’s 24-18 reversal at Rochdale Hornets poured cold water on the final embers of Raiders’ hopes of finishing top of the league, despite being given a second chance by Workington’s surprise 28-18 defeat at Oldham.
Boss Darren Holt must now consider which of the players currently on the Craven Park roster he wants to retain for next year in the Championship – knowing there will be no games as supposedly straightforward as the loss at Spotland.
With that in mind, the Barrow coach is considering very carefully whether he does in fact want to keep all of his men, something he had spoken keenly about earlier in the season when everything was rosy in the Raiders garden.
“These performances have got to have an effect on what contracts will be offered,” said Holt, whose own playing days are over at the age of 35 and after 304 appearances for the Furness club. “Next year, games like Rochdale away will be rare, we will be playing against teams like Halifax, Leigh and Featherstone away.
“You can only make a decision on who is going to be in your squad and prioritise who you want to sign on for next year through performances.
“Next year, there will be no easy games, every match is going to be a battle and I want people who are going to step up and fight.
“Of course these performances have an effect on contract talks and who will be back next year.”
Holt has yet to enter into extensive contract talks with his entire squad, though a break in the fixture list until the final regular season game at home to South Wales Scorpions on September 2 gives him a chance now.
One of the players whose futures will be decided in the coming weeks and months is Andy Bracek.
The former Warrington and Crusaders Super League forward rejoined Barrow this term after his last season was affected by knee injury which required surgery.
Bracek left the field just before half-time at Rochdale on Sunday holding his right knee, but Holt is hopeful the problem is not as serious as first feared.
The Raiders boss added: “I don’t think Andy’s knee is as bad as was first thought. He couldn’t go back on and that was a bit of a blow for us.
“I thought Andy Bracek was one of the few players at Workington who actually stumped up and put in a shift.
“He came off at Rochdale having made a difference, so it was a bit of a blow to lose him.”
First published at 16:18, Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
It's a shame we've fallen away in the last couple of games but neverthess everyone associated with Barrow Raiders is to be congratulated for getting the club back on its feet and back where it belongs - especially after the farce of the previous two seasons under Des Johnston: If something seems too good to be true, then it probably IS too good to be true is the lesson there. Next year, we're not going to be competing for any titles but we are probably only two good forwards and a decent stand-off away from being able to hold our own in the Championship. Survival first; steady growth thereafter.
All the players who have featured this year deserve a big thanks for knuckling down and doing exactly what was required in this difficult year.
That said, Darren, Phil and the BOD will know that playing and beating S,
Wales, Skolars and Gateshead etc will not be the same as facing Halifax,Leigh and Featherstone.
They need to put together a squad that can be competitive in the higher division. Whilst Darren and Phil will want to be challenging for the honours I'm sure the new Board will be stressing the importance of living within our means.
We have the potential to be a leading club in the Championsip, our gates prove that.
I for one would rather see us building for the future rather than thinking we have to spend our resources on immediate success.
The club is heading in the right direction.
Once again well done everyone at the Raiders you've done us proud!