In addition to the work going on at the ground this summer, it’s been important to many of us that the Bluebirds Trust not lose sight of some of the activities we’ve been involved in prior to taking on a stake at Barrow AFC.

One of the more popular of those endeavours is our annual five-a-side tournament, which has lapsed in recent years.

Thanks largely to Trust member Ronan McCarthy, we’re pleased to see this one come back onto the calendar for 2019.

The tournament takes place on Sunday, June 30 at Pulse Soccer in Barrow. Teams can sign up for £40 and may be made up of a maximum of eight players.

I know Ronan is pleased with the interest so far. At the time of writing, we’ve filled 14 of the available 24 spaces and we still have almost four weeks to go until the event.

All ability levels are welcome for what we hope is going to be a laid back, entertaining day of football.

Some teams, naturally, will take it more seriously than others and the tournament already has a heavy favourite with Bluebirds manager Ian Evatt confirming that he intends to take part.

His team will be comprised mainly of the coaching and non-playing staff at Barrow and I for one am looking forward to seeing how they get on (when I’m not throwing myself around like a cat as a goalkeeper for my own team of course).

Events like these are key not just as a fundraiser, though it’s worth mentioning that the proceeds will be helping to fund improvements to the changing room facilities, which are of course used not only by the first team but also the Performance Centre and various community projects.

Over and above the cash, though, the Bluebirds Trust wants to stay true to its core purposes.

Yes, I’m probably more interested in balance sheets, construction schedules and organisation charts than I used to be, but the Trust is a diverse group with a broad skillset.

Many are keen to ensure that we keep engaging with the wider community, helping to grow the Barrow AFC support and provide opportunities for people to get together and have a good time.

If you’re interested in taking any of the remaining spaces or you want more information before committing, you can make contact at either 07947 835696 or email Ronan will be more than happy to assist.

*Ronan McCarthy has done an excellent job with the five-a-side tournament, demonstrated by his securing a full roster of sponsors for the event.

The General Burgoyne are our main partner as tournament sponsor, with the Ambrose Hotel and Brown Barron Solicitors taking up the chance to sponsor the individual tournaments: the Cup and the Plate respectively.

We thank them all for their generous support, as we do all our commercial partners both at the Trust and the club.

One of the focuses of the new owners at Barrow AFC has been to improve the experience for corporate sponsors and partners.

We want people to feel like they’re entering into a truly collaborative partnership, not simply handing over money to help the club progress.

While that in itself is laudable, the club understands that it has to offer more to its partners.

Seeing existing, dedicated sponsors like Phil Collier renew their relationship is a pleasing measure of how that culture is starting to embed.

There are always more opportunities to raise your profile through a partnership with Barrow AFC and at the moment some quite significant options are available.

The club are always happy to discuss these with potential interested parties.

*The pre-season fixture list was completed with a much welcomed friendly which will see the cream of local talent in the shape of Furness Select, managed by Barrow AFC’s under-21 manager Craig Rutherford, take on the Bluebirds at Holker Street.

The progress of local players is always a topic of much discussion among the support and everyone connected with Barrow AFC was delighted last year to see the likes of Christian Sloan make it to the first team.

With Craig involved in the management at first team level too, there is now a much better defined pathway than there once was, with professional habits and style of play being passed on throughout the club. Games such as this one therefore take on much more meaning, as we are far more likely to see the best of our local players stepping out in club colours, whether for the under-21s, our new reserve side or the first team itself.

Add this to the new partnership with Furness College and hopefully it becomes apparent that the club has upped its game.

The fixture will take place on July 9, with kick off at 7:45pm.