THE club held their kit launch night last Friday and whilst the design received mixed reviews, we are hoping that they still manage to end up under plenty of Xmas trees.

You can’t please everyone, but they really do look better close-up than on photos.

Also included in the night was a Q&A with myself and Paul Crarey and I was asked what our vision for the club was.

I gave a bit of a long-winded reply, but it really is multi-faceted and a simple “get to Super League” answer doesn’t do justice to the amount of work required.

For me we have a focus on continuing to grow the club. The main focus of this is to increase and diversify our income streams. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that there is a direct correlation between the success on the field and income.

Our number one objective is to continue to increase crowds. We had a number of offers last season and we have priced ourselves extremely competitively this year, so our focus isn’t simply to milk as much as possible through gate receipts.

Having as many supporters as possible through the gate has many side benefits in terms of increased secondary spending like at the bars, catering and merchandise. It is also so much easier to attract sponsors when they know that their business will be getting recognition from a much wider audience.

Recruitment of players also becomes easier. Not only are we able to offer competitive salaries but the players love the fact that our crowds are so passionate and growing in number.

We see Barrow Raiders as a hub of the community.

It is in no-one’s interest that young talent continues to leave the town at an alarming rate.

Having a successful professional sporting club is so important in putting the town on the map. It gives reason to dissuade youngsters from leaving the area.

Our events and community programmes are also part of the vision of creating a better town. Many Barrovians complain that there is nothing to do in Barrow but the events programme we have started to put together is now actually attracting people to the town. We see those events growing in 2022 with the benefits to our income streams obvious.

Less obvious is the work we do with community groups. We do not make profit when we put programmes in place to cater for nursery to nineties. However, what we are doing is creating employment, we are providing numerous opportunities for health and fitness for many vulnerable groups and those hidden benefits of increased attendance and secondary spending boosts the club immeasurably.

We therefore have a lot of strands to our bow with our diversification more than doubling our turnover since I arrived but ultimately, we want a successful side and facilities to match. I believe that we have put together an exciting squad for 2022 and the quality within it should make us very competitive and battling for a play-off place.

The facilities have seen much recent investment in terms of trying to be income generating but we also accept that the stadium needs much modernisation.

We can only move as fast as the income generated but there is definitely a twin vision to both continue to improve the playing side and have a facility fit for the 21st century.