Barrow Raiders’ survival bid could be boosted by the return of Martin Aspinwall in the Summer Bash head-to-head with Sheffield Eagles when the battle moves on to Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road.

Aspinwall has been a long-term absentee as the Raiders have struggled to add to their first day win at Batley and his on-field leadership has been sorely missed but coach Paul Crarey is hopeful that the former Wigan veteran will be fit enough to face the Eagles.

The 37-year-old Raiders skipper, a veteran of more than 250 Super League games, has been out of action since suffering a serious eye injury in the 20-4 home defeat by Widnes Vikings in March.

It was an injury that needed plastic surgery on a damaged eyelid and although Crarey was hoping Aspinwall will be back at Bloomfield Road he warned: “We have missed his leadership but we have to remember that he has not played for two and a half months.”

The Raiders’ casualty list is well documented, but the two-week break has eased the problem for the Barrow boss.

“We have been playing with injured players but will be able to get a few bodies back although Bradd Crellin is still out with his shoulder injury,” Crarey said.

“Jarrad Stack returns and that is a big plus and Jordan Walne will have a check after suffering concussion, but he should be back.”

Still out, though, are key backs Declan Hulme and Shane Toal and a lack of numbers has hampered the regular training sessions with Crarey and his staff having their first full contact session for more than two months this week.

Following the termination of Gareth Hock’s contract and Willie Minoga’s return to Papua New Guinea, plus a long-term injury to Ryan Duffy, calls for the Raiders to bring in new places to ease the crisis have increased, but Crarey explained that it has not been for the want of trying that there have been no new faces arriving at Craven Park.

The recent signing of Adam Ford adds to an already healthy sprinkling of local talent in the squad, but the club have not had the same luck when they look further afield to strengthen the side.

“We can speak to maybe ten players and we would be lucky if we managed to get one. And they always want more money to come up here.

“It is not like Rochdale or Swinton, which are maybe just along the road for players they want to take on loan,”

Revenge may not be on the menu at Blackpool but the Raiders camp will still be smarting from the last time they faced the Eagles in the second match of the season.

Fans won’t need reminding that it was a last-kick penalty that gave Sheffield a 24-22 victory – a result that started the slump that has resulted in a run of 12 games without a win.

“When they came to Craven Park there was nothing between the teams and it was kicks on the last tackle that led to the tries that beat us.

“The target now is to stay up in this division and we have to go into the game with more self-belief if we are going to get a result.”