Roose Pioneers, under the guidance of Mike Backhouse, Chris Larkin and Dan Cargan, have moved onto pastures new returning to the North West Men’s League after an absence of several years.

Pioneers had a good season in the Barrow and District League last year and are now in a position to move on, having their best pre-season for some time.

Former Barrow Raider Backhouse is very enthusiastic in his quest to see Pioneers go from strength to strength following several years of decline, mainly due to a lack of numbers.

The ex-BARLA full back will play only if necessary, while another former Raider – Larkin - will be on the field at every opportunity.

Backhouse said “We are having at least 23 training each session, it’s not been like that for some time. We are looking forward to returning to the North West League, where we played for several years. We had a good time when I first started back in 2001, then many of the older players retired and we slipped down the leagues before departing.”

Pioneers tried their hand in the now-defunct Cumbria League but, with a relatively inexperienced squad, failed to make an impact, returning to the Barrow and District.

The squad is looking strong with novice Matty Phillips coming on board. Phillips was in the Army and at 33 years young, is chancing his arm at a game that he has never played before.

He is joined by Furness rugby union player and American football’s Furness Phantoms co-coach Dave Oakley. Other union recruits are Jack Oster, Jack Shannon and Harrison O’Brien, while returning to Redwaters is former under-16s prospect Jake Robertson.

Pioneers played Millom in a friendly last Saturday and on February 23 face a tough fixture at Barrow Island in the Barton Towney Cup. The league season begins on March 2 with a home fixture with Wigan Springview.