PAUL Crarey believes word is spreading that Barrow Raiders are a club going places after making some eye-catching signings for the 2019 Betfred Championship season.

Although important players like Joe Bullock, Alec Susino and Dean Parata have moved on, Barrow have recruited prospects Jake Spedding, and Deon Cross, dynamic winger or full-back Tee Ritson, Papua New Guinean pair Stargroth Amean and Wartovo Puara Jr, and battle-hardened ex-England international Gareth Hock for next season.

Further signings are still in the pipeline and head coach Crarey, who recently signed a new two-year contract, is in no doubt the rugby league community senses good things are starting to happen at Craven Park, praising the Raiders squad for creating an atmosphere players want to be a part of too.

“We’ve had a turnover of players every year since we’ve been here, and we’ve got stronger and stronger,” said Crarey.

“I was once told good news travel fast, but bad news travels faster. But people are saying good things about the club and want to come here.

“If you speak to Martin Aspinwall, he says he’s enjoyed his rugby here as much as he has anywhere – and he’s been at Wigan and all over.

“That’s the culture of the players and what they’ve created, not just me, and it’s exciting times.”

The signing of forward Hock was a particular coup for the Raiders, with the 35-year-old rejecting the chance to return to Super League to play part-time for Barrow.

Crarey spoke to Hock after chairman Steve Neale had indicated he was available and interested in moving to the club, having left Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers in August.

And Crarey is enthusiastic about what he believes the former Wigan Warriors star can bring to Barrow.

“I spoke to Gareth Hock and Steve didn’t want to bring him in without speaking to me, and we had a good conversation about what he’s going to do and how he’s going to help take the club forwards,” said Crarey.

“He isn’t coming here just to take the money, he’s started training now.

“He could have gone to Super League, but he’s got a job he doesn’t want to lose and have to start again looking for a job when his career is over.

“He probably could have gone to another Championship club, but he’d have to travel on his own and he doesn’t want that, and he likes the idea of coming with the boys who come on the bus.”