A HAPPY New Year to all our supporters – let’s hope that we have a successful season ahead.

After all the months of planning things are starting to get real with our first friendly this Sunday at home to Oldham, and we have tried to do a lot of things off the field to improve the club.

We have tried to improve transparency, improve engagement with the fans, give our sponsors a positive association with the club, improve affordability by allowing kids in free, and improve the squad’s quality.

We will not really know if we have been successful until we start playing the games. The most important performance indicator for me is the size of the crowds. If we can get the crowds improving then I know that we are doing a good job.

I will also know we are about to start a massive upward cycle because on the back of improved crowds we can start to think of an improved team, improved facilities and creation of jobs within the club which will allow us to grow further.

The Championship will be really competitive and I am content with steady progress. If we can secure a mid-table finish, are competitive in all our games and we produce performances which guarantee our fans return for more that will do for me for this season. We are growing on and off the field, and those targets will consolidate us. For subsequent seasons, the ambition will grow and this is the start of an exciting journey.

We have our annual Sponsor’s Night on Friday 7.30pm at The Chequers Hotel and the invitation is open for all to attend. There will be something in most prices ranges if you want to be part of this exciting future.

On Friday afternoon our three Papua New Guinea players land and hope they get plenty of sleep on the plane because they have a hectic start to life in Barrow. Sponsor’s night will be followed by Saturday morning training, I hope to show them around the town on Saturday afternoon and then, hopefully, introduce them to our fans at the Oldham game.

Also, we welcome our latest signing, Jordan Walne, and really think he will prove to be one of our best signings.

The negotiations were one of the easiest we have had and the lad just wants to play rugby. I’m really looking forward to seeing all our signings play and I genuinely think we have recruited quality.