Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is overwhelmed by the support he has received from the club's supporters in the wake of relegation from the Betfred Championship.

Crarey has admitted to expecting some flak from the Craven Park faithful after a disappointing campaign that ended with the Raiders slipping back into League One after a couple of years in the second tier.

Fans certainly didn't turn their backs on the team, however, with 1,214 attending what was effectively a dead rubber against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday, which the hosts ended up winning 24-16.

Crarey, who has been fully backed by the board to win promotion at the first time of asking next year, had his spirits raised by the whole day, which included the club's awards presentation night at the Kill One.

Crarey said: "It's been one of them years where anything that could go wrong did go wrong and the fans understand that.

"They were absolutely brilliant with me at the last game of the season, all wanting to speak to me, telling me not to go and the presentation night was another one where I though I'd have to put my tin hat and my flak jacket on, but it wasn't.

"I went there and everyone there was so positive it was unbelievable, unexpected and they were really happy with the way the club's progressing.

"I think they understand that it was just an injury thing that got us and to cap it all off, Jarrad [Stack] had to go back to Australia to see his mum, who wasn't so well, and there were other issues as well.

"Some players had little issues in the season with personal stuff we've had to deal with as well and we've lost players in games through that, but we're proud of the lads, really, and the reaction in terms of re-signing has been unbelievable."

Fans will have understandably expected there to be a high turnover of players during the off-season after relegation, but it is starting to look like that won't be the case.

Papua New Guinea internationals Stargroth Amean and Wartovo Puara are confirmed to be staying at Craven Park for next year's tilt at League One, as has half-back Jamie Dallimore, while further announcements on new contracts are set to be made in the next few weeks.

Crarey said: "The public will find out shortly as to who's staying and who's going, but it's surprised me what a great bunch of people they are.

"Those that are leaving are probably doing so down to travelling reasons and work commitments and we wish them all the best.

"We're signing some quality players as well and they want to come and they've been recommended by current Barrow players and through agents."