Skipper faces big decision over Barrow Raiders future
Last updated at 16:36, Wednesday, 03 October 2012
RAIDERS skipper Liam Harrison’s playing career is hanging in the balance as he faces a huge decision over his future.
Changes to his work life mean Harrison may have played his last game in a Barrow shirt in the Championship One Grand Final defeat to Doncaster last week.The 28-year-old has been promoted to a new job with BAE Systems which will involve more travelling, irregular hours and weekly college commitments.
That will all have an impact on his ability to train and Harrison is known to be seriously torn over the decision.
Barrow boss Darren Holt is keeping his fingers crossed the Championship One Player-of-the-Year nominee decides he can find the right balance between work and rugby.
“It’s a big decision for Liam,” said Holt, who appointed Harrison captain and moved him into the second row this year – both of which proved successful decisions.
“I know everybody will be keen to see us get Liam’s signature – he’s been my captain this year and he has been inspirational.
“I don’t think I have seen him have a bad game in what has been his first year in the second row position.
“I can only see him getting better, but he has got this balancing act. He has got a new job, responsibilities, and it is an opportunity for him.
“Me and Liam have sat down and had a couple of long chats about this, but it really is Liam’s decision to make.
“It’s not a question of whether we want to keep him, it’s a question of Liam deciding what he is prepared and what he can and can’t do.
“Obviously, I think everybody will be hoping that he stays with us, because he would leave a big hole to fill.”
Barrow have been Harrison’s only professional club since he moved out of the amateur game with Barrow Island in 2005.
He has made 203 appearances for the club since then – remarkably, all of them starts – and has turned down approaches from higher-division clubs to remain loyal to his hometown team.
Other sides have approached him with offers for 2013, including county rivals Whitehaven, but he is believed to have turned them all down, with Barrow his only playing option.
Holt has stressed he will be as flexible as he can be with the situation, should his captain choose to carry on playing.
“It’s no different from this year,” said the Barrow boss. “I understand, I was a player myself and I work myself – we’re not Super League players, we’ve all got other jobs and other responsibilities, family and so forth.
“I’d like to think I have been fair with everybody this year – in fact, maybe I have been a touch over-lenient sometimes with some people – and I am aware of people with other responsibilities.
“As long as there is no mickey-taking and as long as the effort is put in there, as long as the players understand that those who are training will get the right of way, then that’s the way it should be.”
l Harrison will be among the players at the Barrow Raiders presentation night next week.
The evening takes place at The Nines, Barrow, on Friday, October 12. Tickets are available from the Rugby Shop, Scott Street, costing £5 each, with all profits going towards the fund to erect new floodlights at Craven Park.
First published at 16:34, Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I know Barrow are trying hard to put a side out next year to compete at the next level. We have signed a couple of good players but also lost a couple of our best players. Hope Liam gives it another year as if he improves as much next year as this one, he could possibly get a couple of years at the top level. I am bure the likes of Widnes .Cas.Salford London would be interested. And good for you Holty working around work , lets hope BAE have the same approch.