TOM Walker and Glenn Riley have been praised by Paul Crarey for the impact they have made during their time with Barrow Raiders.

Sunday’s 20-20 draw with Dewsbury Rams saw Riley make his first appearance of the 2019 Betfred Championship season, coming off the interchange bench, while the match marked Walker’s 50th appearance for the Raiders and his 100th total career appearance.

Cockermouth Titans product Walker has established himself as one of the cornerstones of the Barrow pack since joining from Workington Town ahead of the 2017 season, with ex-Whitehaven man Riley having shown plenty of signs of kicking on in pre-season before getting injured.

And Barrow head coach Crarey is delighted with what both of them have brought to Craven Park.

“I think Glenn Riley and Tom Walker have been great,” said Crarey. “They’re both young kids and they’re good for the club.

“They’re great to have around the place and they’re good Cumbrian lads who are tough. I thought Glenn Riley’s stint was outstanding because he took it to them and they’re good kids to have at the club.

“They’re quality players we’ve nurtured over a few years, and we haven’t just brought them in with them being the real deal.”

Alec Susino returning to Australia to finish his degree and Joe Bullock making the move to Super League side Wigan Warriors means Walker and Riley will be expected to shoulder some extra responsibility this year.

But both have risen to the challenge, with former Hull Kingston Rovers forward Josh Johnson – who also reached a century of career appearances in the match against Dewsbury – and Papua New Guinean powerhouse Willie Minoga adding even more quality in the prop position.

Walker and Riley both have a similar background to Bullock, having been in the youth system at a Super League club – in their case, Warrington Wolves – before leaving to pursue their professional careers in the part-time game and Crarey is pleased to see them improving all the time.

“They’ve been educated here a little bit and come with a lack of confidence,” said Crarey.

“They’ve come in from Warrington, where they haven’t got in, and Tom had a really bad injury playing for them against Bradford and was cast aside.

“He went to Workington and was passed about there, and then he’s come in here and done a really good job for us.

“We’ve got a great bunch of kids who work and sometimes they’re put under pressure, and that’s the nature of professional sport.”