PAUL Crarey wants to see young half-backs Ryan Johnston and Jake Carter lay down a marker for the future at Barrow Raiders in the 2019 Betfred Championship season.

The former Furness Raiders pair have both signed long-term contracts during the off-season, with former Dalton scrum-half Johnston extending his stay at Craven Park for another two years and stand-off Carter signing a three-year deal after stepping up from Barrow Island.

Jamie Dallimore and Lewis Charnock, who have both extended their stays at the Raiders too, will remain the first-choice pairing in the halves, but Barrow head coach Crarey is eager to see the next generation seize their chance when it comes too.

“We’ve got exciting young players in Jake Carter and Ryan Johnston, who are the future of the club so I want to see them come through,” said Crarey

“Dalli is on a two-year contract and Lewis Charnock is on a one, so we might lose one of them at some stage, but we’ll groom these other two to come through and take their places.

“It’s really exciting for the fans, and it’s been done slowly and properly.”

Carter, who is set to feature for the England Colleges side against the Australian Schoolboys in Newcastle later this month along with Jake Stockdale and Tyler Lancaster, became the second player from the Furness under-19s side to turn pro, following in the footsteps of good friend Johnston.

The homegrown 19-year-old joins Deon Cross, Jake Spedding, Tee Ritson, Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara Jr and Gareth Hock as additions to the Raiders squad for the coming season.

Barrow are still in the market for a couple more signings though, particularly in the forwards to make up for the loss of props Joe Bullock and Alec Susino.

Crarey is delighted with the players Barrow have already been able to recruit, with the extra prize-money earned for finishing fifth in the Championship Shield standings being put, at least in part, towards strengthening the side.

And Crarey, who recently signed a two-year contract, is confident the team will be able to cope better with any injury problems.

“We’ve got a good, healthy team and I think we used 30 players last season, and we’re up to a squad of around 25 now,” said Crarey.

“We’ll need a couple of additions, but everyone will get a shot.

“We haven’t broken the bank doing it and we’ve earned the right to bring these players in with the position we finished in, and we’re still the premier club in the county.”