Bradd Crellin missed most of last season due to circumstances completely out of his control and the Barrow Raiders second row now cannot wait to return to action in what will be a big season for the club.

Crellin signed a new contract with the Raiders two weeks ago, meaning head coach Paul Crarey will be able to call upon someone he regards as one his most reliable performers.

That hasn’t been the case since May, with Crellin being involved in a car crash, not long after the defeat at Halifax, that ended up ruling him out of the remaining four months of the season.

Like several other members of Barrow’s squad, such as Nathan Mossop, Shane Toal and Martin Aspinwall, he is looking to bounce back from an injury-ravaged year, only his issues didn’t originate from what happened on the rugby field.

Crellin said: “It was a bit of a tough year, last year. I started off alright, played in the first ten games and then I was on my way to training from work and I was coming out of Whicham Valley and a lad came round the corner and smashed into me.

“Immediately, I had neck injuries, shoulder injuries, but I’ve been working hard since I got injured.

“I carried on with my fitness and went through some strength training and weight training, although I couldn’t do any contact training with the lads, obviously, because of the injury.

“But I’ve had quite a decent off-season - the majority of the pain has gone now, but I’m just looking to bounce back and get going again and play in the pre-season games in January.”

Crellin was able to take a full part in the Raiders’ first day of pre-season training last Saturday, which was admittedly a session aimed at easing the players back in, rather than blitzing them right from the off.

It was the first chance for new signings Carl Forster, Lee Jewitt and Perry Singleton to train with their new teammates, while ten amateur players who could sign on dual registration deals joined in.

Having spent so long out of contention, Crellin is thrilled to be back, saying: “There’s only so much you can do away from the club. You can do the weight training, you can do the running and stuff on your own in the dark nights, but when you're together you’re working as a team.

“You’re out there getting a bit of a flogging on the dreaded five-minute run, which we haven’t done yet, but you’re all out there together, you’re all as one, you’ve got each other’s back, you’re motivating each other and it does feel like there’s a good team dynamic.”