Barrow AFC captain Josh Granite is delighted that he'll have the chance to help the Bluebirds kick on next season, now that his future with the club is safely secured.

Granite signed a new one-year contract with the Holker Street outfit last week, which also includes the option of an extra year.

It was admittedly a stop-start campaign for the 27-year-old, who suffered from toe and ankle injuries that limited him to 29 appearances in what was his first season with AFC after signing from Ashton United last summer.

When he has played, however, his leadership skills have proved very important, as have his defensive capabilities, which his why manager Ian Evatt was always keen on retaining his skipper, who knew he'd be extending his stay some time ago.

Granite said: "I feel like the whole club has improved, with the new ownership, and I feel like there's something to build on in the future. I feel this really is the start of something.

"I've had chats with the manager throughout the year, being his captain, about different individuals.

"I've known he's wanted to keep me, it's just been a case of injuries and I've managed to get over certain problems and put a good string of games together at the end of the season.

"I've known for quite a long time that I was going to be staying, which was good for my own position, and then obviously I've been helping him through and helping other lads, liaising between the two of them."

The season just finished was a first in full-time football for Granite, who has risen through the levels of non-League football in recent years.

He has enjoyed having the extra time he's had to develop his game, while he's also pleased with how he's become better with the ball at his feet over the last six months.

Granite said: "I just think that's just down to the manager asking us to play a certain way and demanding certain things from his defenders.

"I've had to do that, otherwise I wouldn't have stayed in his team.

"It's a type of football that I do enjoy playing. At times, there's going to be mistakes and things and that's because you're playing high-risk football - high-risk, high-reward."

Meanwhile, AFC's under-21 team were crowned Lancashire U21 County League champions on Wednesday night after a thumping 5-0 win against title rivals Bacup Borough.

The young Bluebirds were cruising to victory by half-time as goals from Tyler Wood's clinical finish was followed by an Elliott Moore double, as a three-goal lead was opened up.

There was no let-up in the second half, as Brandon Collins added a fourth before Ben Stoker's rasper into the top corner rounded things off.