DAVID Cairns believes there are plenty of other members of the Furness Raiders squad with the potential to earn opportunities to train with Barrow Raiders on the back of Charlie Emslie and Adam Ford’s successful pre-season with the first-team.

Millom forward Emslie and Walney Central winger Ford were invited to join Barrow’s senior players as they prepared for the 2019 Betfred Championship season and did well enough to earn run-outs in the pre-season matches as well.

The duo are now back with Furness for the closing stages of the College Rugby League Premier Division season having coped well with the step up to professional level and under-19s head coach Cairns expects more of his young charges to get the same chance in the future.

“It’s a massive step up, but I was talking to (Barrow head coach) Paul (Crarey) and even at training sessions they’ve done really well,” said Cairns. “They’ve got the same structures as us, so when they go in they can more or less go straight in.

“With Charlie being in the forwards, he’s right in to where he needs to be, he doesn’t need telling where to go and he’s on the money. They just need to keep developing, keep improving, keep their fitness up and their intensity up.

“There is chances for people below them and I think there are a few lads in this squad who can progress to that level, it’s just how much they want it and how much they want to be at that professional stage.”

Furness return to action this afternoon when they head to Cowley Sixth Form College in St Helens in the last 16 of the AoC National Cup, which they reached the final of last year.

Their last match ended in a 28-8 defeat to Wakefield College in the Premier Division three weeks ago and the focus has been on training since then.

Barrow’s elite under-16s squad have been joining their older counterparts on Monday nights on the artificial pitch at Furness College for joint-sessions and Cairns is enthused by what he has seen from them.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve had the under-16s up at the college because they can’t go on the pitch (at Craven Park), and they’ve been training with us and there are some really good lads there as well,” said Cairns.

“We need to keep that going and we had a bit of an opposed run against them, and they held their own. It got quite physical and they did really well.

“Hopefully a few of the lads will come into the system next year and it’s good progression for them to know our lads, and interact with them as well.”