It was fantastic to see Holker Street so full for the final home fixture of what has been an excellent season.

More than 3,000 fans filled the ground to enjoy the Bank Holiday sunshine – to give that some context, I’m reliably informed that Monday’s attendance was a record for a league fixture at Holker Street that hasn’t been bettered for over two decades.

Hartlepool’s end of season tradition of travelling well to their final away game naturally boosted the crowd.

In this respect the fixture list was kind to us, giving us the chance to sell some 1,140 tickets to away fans alone, but that shouldn’t detract from what was also an outstanding home support.

That the team were able to give us a commanding performance and a well-deserved three points was the perfect end to a thoroughly enjoyable weekend for the club.

The night before the Hartlepool fixture, the Cross Bar hosted the club’s annual presentation night. This is our opportunity to celebrate the players’ achievements and the hard work of the coaching staff, and this year’s event was no different.

Dan Jones and top scorer Jack Hindle were among the worthy winners, but it was midfielder Jason Taylor who deservedly swept the board with a total of five awards.

Special mentions should also go to Derry Greaves, named Supporter of the Year for his ongoing attempt to attend every game home and away this season, and Ryan Sutherland, who was rightly recognised for the tireless work he puts in to making sure that things behind the scenes at Barrow AFC run smoothly.

A trip to Gateshead this coming Saturday will bring down the curtain on the 2018/19 season, but the hard work of preparing for the next campaign is already underway.

Pre-season fixtures need to be organised, players recruited and retained, and structural work taking in refurbishment of the Cross Bar and many other exciting plans for the ground have already begun.

The new ownership at Barrow AFC have witnessed their first conclusion to a season – now we are all preparing for our first taste of a hectic summer.

With a home crowd like Monday’s fresh in our mind and a taste of what Holker Street can become if we deliver real success both on and off the field, it certainly isn’t hard to find motivation.

So congratulations to all on a tremendous year, but the hard work starts now.

*While 3,000 fans were taking in one of the most memorable goals in recent years at Holker Street, I was somewhere underneath the main stand carrying crates of cider to the pop-up can bar at the away end.

It’s a far cry from what I might have been doing before I was chosen to serve on the board, but then again I knew what I was signing up for.

Being involved in the organisation of a matchday, you get a real sense of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

This fixture in particular, easily the largest attendance at Holker Street this season, was a real test of our people and processes and I was delighted that everything held together to make it a successful and enjoyable afternoon for the fans.

Special thanks are due to the turnstile operators, many of whom were Bluebirds Trust volunteers, who incredibly managed to get every fan into the ground in time for kick off.

I had doubts that could be achieved, but I was proven wrong. From programme sellers to bar staff, stewards to our raffle sellers, everybody went the extra mile on Monday and on behalf of Barrow AFC I’d like to thank every one of them for all their hard work and dedication.

This support will be key as we try to take the club on to the next level.

*Sunday’s presentation night was a packed event.

As well as the awards ceremony there were speeches from Paul Hornby and Ian Evatt, then to close the evening we saw the launch of the first team kits for next season – all available now for pre-order.

In amongst it all, we also managed to pack in the official launch of the new initiative between the Club and the Bluebirds Trust: The 1901 Club.

For a one-off £25 fee per entry, members will be entered into 12 monthly draws for cash prizes. Crucially, all proceeds are retained by the Club and our community.

Twenty-five per cent will be kept for prizes while the rest will go entirely to Barrow AFC to fund redevelopment work in the ground focused on delivering an improved match day experience for supporters.

Entry forms can be requested from the club and we are also able to take online entries via the Bluebirds Trust website.

Sales are open until July 31 with the first draw to be held the following day.

We hope as many fans as possible support this initiative as we take collaboration between the Bluebirds Trust and Barrow AFC to another level and deliver an improved matchday experience for all members of our support.