WELL, we achieved our objective and achieved promotion to the Championship on Saturday with a comprehensive defeat of West Wales.

Full credit to the visitors who never gave in. I received a call on Friday that they were struggling to raise a team, but we tried to help as much as possible to help as we desperately wanted to celebrate the success on the field.

Ironically with the table being decided on percentages the only way we couldn’t have won the title was playing the game.

Full credit must go to our players and coaching staff. At times they have felt the pressure because we made our ambitions very clear, but I am a big believer that hard work merits success and they have all worked tremendously hard.

The celebrations on the pitch with the supporters were something else and it was a proud moment to share the success.

We moved straight into our presentation evening in the marquee, and it was a fantastic atmosphere. The players are such a close-knit bunch, and I genuinely haven’t seen team spirit like it. Even the relative newcomers to the team have quickly become adopted and there is a great buzz around the place now. It was great to see wives, girlfriends, and families, not to mention the supporters being so close too, it really is a recipe for success.

When the success of the day abated, our thoughts have quickly turned to the 2022 season. There really is no job like the one I have in terms of variety and the relentlessness of the role. There is always something to deal with as we strive to move forward.

We recognise that there will need to be some improvements in the team, but we haven’t got an infinite budget. That buzz and team spirit I mentioned though is important in attracting new players and I think a lot of players now have Barrow Raiders on their radar.

In some ways we are at an advantage with the lack of Championship teams to the west of the Pennines.

We have been talking to some players of real quality and hopefully we can start to turn some of these talks into deals. Andy Gaffney is really an unsung hero in the negotiations, and he has close contacts with all the agents and has been able to sell the ambitions of the club.

Our Ladies team are replicating the success of the men and they finished their league campaign with a fine win versus Stanningley. We must wait as we sit out the final round of matches to see if we have landed a home play-off tie. If that is the case, then we need all the support possible on Sunday, September 26 in our quest for the final. Everyone at the club is delighted how the girls have fitted in and with ladies’ sport in general showing exponential growth we want to be well placed to be part of that boom. When the season ends, we will be having further planning sessions to set those growth targets for 2022.