Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey was left wondering how his team have been given yet another away start after the fixtures for the 2020 season were revealed last Sunday.

Due to the early rounds of the Challenge Cup and them receiving a bye on the opening round of fixtures, the Raiders will have to wait until March 1 to play their first game in Betfred League One, when they travel to Doncaster.

The match at the Keepmoat Stadium represents a tough start against a team who are expected to challenge for promotion alongside Barrow next season, but that is not what Crarey has an issue with.

What puzzles him is how a computerised system of generating fixtures has thrown up the same scenario for the ninth season running; the Raiders opening on their travels.

What also concerns the Barrow boss is the possibility that his side could only play at Craven Park once - against Coventry on March 8 - in the first nine weeks of the campaign if they don't get the luck of the draw in the Challenge Cup.

"That's great for our fans," said Crarey, with tongue firmly in cheek. "They're going to spend a lot of time travelling and it's a test for us as a club to stay focused, really.

"I think they should use this system for Premier League football and see how their clubs react. Its' absolutely great that we might get one home game in the first nine weeks.

"The system can come up with us having no home start for nine seasons. I think it is a fantastic system that we're using.

"Apparently, it's a computer where you put data in and it spits stuff out, but the chairman [Steve Neale] has told me that the odds of it happening are like a thousand-and-something to one that that could happen."

A potential lack of home fixtures in the early part of the season has strengthened the Raiders' resolve to organise four pre-season friendlies before the real action begins, but that is only a short-term solution.

With the club receiving less funding after their relegation from the Championship, matchday revenue is now a more urgent source of income for the club.

Crarey said: "We're going to use it as a motivational tool with the boys. The big thing is Toronto do it every year, start away from home, and they get through it, but they've probably got a bit more money than us to cope.

"It's a big test for our board and Steve for them to keep the club going through that period or potentially in nine weeks getting one home game - we've got to wait three weeks to get one home fixture, against Coventry."