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Thursday, 10 July 2014

PHIL YOUR BOOTS: Time to appraise a superb year for Barrow Raiders

WHILE last weekend ended in great disappointment for everyone connected to the club, I think we can all look back and be happy with the way the club has steadied itself.

Back in November last year, when myself and Holty took on the coaching jobs, we didn’t really have much idea which existing players would sign again or which local players wanted to play for the club.

I know the boys were disappointed that we finished with no silverware, but they can be very proud of what they have achieved this year.

Sunday’s game maybe wasn’t a classic.

The constant heavy rain certainly didn’t help fast, attractive football – saying that, we had four tries disallowed, three of which were fair calls, but after watching the alleged forward pass from Cammy (Liam Campbell) to Liam H (captain Liam Harrison) over and over again on the DVD, I still think we were very unlucky.

In big games you need a bit of luck and unfortunately we never had it. That said, we had plenty of ball in good position, but at the end of the day it was probably Doncaster’s defence that outplayed our attack.

In the last week or so, the club have been announcing signings for next season.

We know we have to reinforce the squad for life in the Championship and we are trying to bring in the right people who have the right attitudes and application to do well for Barrow.

Hopefully the squad will be somewhere near complete before pre-season training starts in November, to give us the best chance to prepare for the league campaign which begins earlier than in previous years.

Friday is the club’s presentation evening, which promises to be a good night.

There are a few players who could be shortlisted to win the main Player-of-the-Year award, although a few alternative awards could also be presented.

Andy Ballard is favourite for the ‘Nivea for Men Male Groomer-of-the-Year Award’; after Mad Monday, Andrew ‘Bruie’ Dawson is now a serious contender for the ‘Elton John Songwriter-of-the-Year’; while Dan Toal and Andy Bracek are joint-favourites to take the title of ‘Raiders Mastermind Champion 2012’.

I wish all four good luck in there respective categories.

For months now I’ve promised three important ladies at the club a mention.

Bernadette, Yvonne and Kyrie are among the band of volunteers the club couldn’t do without.

These ladies do a great job through the week keeping the club tidy, while on game days they look after the players’ post-match food.

The players room is 100 per cent better since the ladies have sorted it out and the boys are much appreciative of it – thanks very much girls.

See you next season.

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