Crarey says Barrow Raiders ‘excited’ by return of former chairman Sharpe

Back into the fold: David Sharpe has returned as Barrow Raiders chairman LEANNE BOLGER
Back into the fold: David Sharpe has returned as Barrow Raiders chairman LEANNE BOLGER
15 September 2017 8:57AM

PAUL Crarey has welcomed the return of David Sharpe to the fold as Barrow Raiders chairman.

Sharpe, who stood down as chairman citing work commitments at the conclusion of the 2016 season, was confirmed as rejoining the Raiders board in the role while the squad were out Canada over the weekend.

His return, succeeding interim chairman Allan Park, coincided with three new faces joining the board in Dave and Hazel Robinson – the former taking over as director of rugby – and John Coward.

And Barrow head coach Crarey is excited to have the opportunity to work with Sharpe again as the club eyes promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship via the play-offs.

I, for one, am really glad he's back – and so are the players. PAUL CRAREY

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet, but I will and we’ll see which way the club is going to to go,” said Crarey.

“I know he’ll bring that professionalism and stability, and probably financial stability.

“He’s here for a reason and we’ll find out over the next few weeks where the club is at and I, for one, am really glad he’s back – and so are the players.

“We heard about it over there and we’re pretty excited about him coming back. It was a shame he left and we’ve missed him off the field, so we’ll just have to see what unfolds off the field.”

On the field, the team are preparing for the final League One Super Eights game of the campaign when they host Keighley Cougars this Sunday.

Crarey had the first chance to assess his squad at training last night following the 26-2 defeat away to champions Toronto Wolfpack over the weekend.

Several players were carrying knocks, but the biggest concern was over prop Tom Walker, who suffered a serious cut to his tongue which required stitches.

“Tom Walker nearly had his tongue in half and had to have stitches in it after the game, and it was a right mess,” said Crarey. “He played on after that, but it looked as if his tongue was going to drop of at one stage.

“We had the call from the physio it was halfway through and getting worse, so he had to go off and the kid was in absolute agony when it was being stitched.

“We had a couple of bad knocks and we're going to get them in those sort of games.”

Despite the defeat in Toronto, the Barrow players earned plenty of plaudits from their opponents for their performance.

Crarey's opinion was his team's kicking game was not quite at its best and was left to rue the Raiders being unable to get over the try-line when they had opportunities.

But overall he was impressed with what he saw from his side ahead of the play-offs.

“I talked to a few of their players and they were really complementary of our lads and (Toronto head coach) Paul Rowley said it was the most physical game his boys had played, especially over there," said Crarey.

“It was a real ding-dong battle in the middle and probably the difference was their back three returning the ball.”

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