ELLIS Gillam wears a Barrow jersey for the first time when the Raiders take on Workington Town in a pre-season friendly at Craven Park (kick off 3pm).

22-year-old Gillam came through the Youth systems at Ulverston and Barrow Island before joining Super-League side Warrington age 16.

However, he was released last year moving up the coast to Whitehaven, but his immediate future is with his hometown club.

Ellis was a schoolboy star with Dowdales and played in a rugby league cup final curtain raiser at Wembley where he took the man of the match award presented by Great Britain star Ellery Hanley.

Others to make a Raiders debut are Josh Woods (ex-Wakefield) Danny Langtree (ex-Oldham) and Sam Brooks (ex-Leigh)

However, illness rules out several players including Jarrod Sammut while Head Coach Paul Crarey scoffed rumours that the Walne brothers Adam and Jordan have left the club.

“Rumours are wrong both are still with us, but both struggled with serious injuries last season, but I am looking forward to them being available for the opening league fixture at home to Sheffield on January 30,” Crarey said.

“We welcomed Aussie recruit Anton Iaria to the club when he flew in yesterday, but we won’t be pushing him into action until next weekend.

Anton come well recommended by former Raider Alex Susino, so we are eager to see him play.”

Also having a run out are local amateurs Connor Saunders (Ulverston) Dan Wright (Barrow Island) and Milloms Ethan Kelly who last year had spell with Whitehaven and North Wales Crusaders.

“Although classed a friendly it will be a full blow out for both teams it will be full on,” Crarey added.

“Last season we drew at home with them only for Covid to hit us for the return fixture which was called off.

“Training is going great with the new lads fitting in nicely we will have competition for places each week as we have built up a strong squad.

“They are all gelling together, and we look at these friendly game Newcastle and North Wales to come to get us into shape for what will be a tough Championship league.”

Off the field Paul Carey and Tee Ritson were chosen as coach and player of the year in the readers’ poll in League Express.

“It’s a great honour for us both and also for the club,” according to Crarey.