Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is pleased with the way things have gone in the three pre-season work outs with Oldham, North Wales and Workington.

An added bonus is the prospective dual registration players that have come in from the local amateur clubs who have all made good progress during their time training with the club.

Crarey said: “We have progressed from the first game and against Workington, I thought our defence was top notch - no points conceded, while in attack we created several chances, scored some good tries and should have had several more.

“We cut them open but at times were not clinical enough, but I was overall very pleased for the lads.”

It has been learning curve for the amateur players who have trained throughout pre-season at Craven Park.

Crarey said: “The lads have come down and been impressive, they have all mixed in with our players and our senior lads have been a great help.

The likes of Jarrad Stack, Jamie Dallimore and Carl Forster have all passed on their experience by showing them the way and talking to them.

“They have all fitted in well and know our drills with Mark Tyson (Askam) and Carl McBain (Barrow Island) really switched on.

“It’s not easy for the likes of ourselves and Workington we have to rely on locals mainly and many lads from around here are up the coast, which proves the game in our area is healthy.”

Barrow are now reaping the benefit of the local lads and being on dual registration allows them to get involved in the semi-pro game while still being available for their own clubs when not required for Craven Park duty.

Two young locals already on the books, Ryan Johnston and Jake Carter, could be the half-back pairing for years to come, having found their feet at a higher level and have been praised for their hard work by the Barrow boss.

“Johnston and Carter are amazing players Ryan does his work at half back and then when he moves to hooking Jake comes in and takes over - the role just continues no disruption,” said Crarey.

“It’s now all system go for the league season, but as I’ve said previously we are disappointed in having to play our first game away for the ninth or tenth year in a row.

“It’s not fair for our supporters and our financial side of things. There are only ten home games so we need to get some home draws in the Cups.

“Time out will give one or two players time to recover from injuries - Jake Carter came off Sunday with a shoulder injury which could require a scan while Jarrad Stack may need a minor op as his knee flairs up. It would be a blow if we had to lose them for the start along with Nathan Mossop.”