Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey believes that his side’s pre-season has been nothing other than a success as he prepares his team for Sunday’s Challenge Cup clash against London Skolars.

His side will be looking to build on some of the promising performances that they have put in and make sure that they will be in the hat for fourth round draw.

“I thought we’ve done really well in pre-season to be honest," he said. "The amateurs have integrated well with the experienced senior players and seemed to have gelled with the group which has been shown through our results. Against Workington for 20 minutes we gave them a lot of ball but the things that we worked on in training helped combat their attack and it stopped them from scoring.”

Commenting on Sunday’s opposition Crarey said: “I’m looking forward to this first fixture. We don’t know much about London other than they are a big physical team and that they’ve made some good recruitment in the off season. Dalton Grant has signed there from Bradford Bulls and he’s a try scoring machine and obviously used to play for us in the past as well. So we are looking for a tough start really with fatigue definitely going to play a part.”

Crarey’s side ran out comfortable 28-0 winners against neighbours Workington Town in their last match of their pre-season, where once again ex-Dalton player Ryan Johnston impressed his coach with another brilliant performance and he was quick to highlight how impressed he has been with him.

The head coach said: “I think he’s been outstanding and he’s just got to keep his feet on the ground really. He’s learned his trade for a while now behind the likes of Lewis and Dalli and he is a talented kid, and always has been. It’s the one per centers that he is getting right now such as making 41 tackles against Workington with no misses and it just shows how much he has developed.”

However, club captain Jarrad Stack will unfortunately not be available for the game against London after Crarey revealed at training he had suffered an injury.

“Jarrad has had an operation to clean out his knee and he is three weeks away now so hopefully we will get him back for the Doncaster or Coventry game, obviously depending on how things go," he said.

In more positive news it was also revealed that former Saint Helens Academy player Joe Sharratt was on trial with the club, and Crarey spoke about the situation.

He said: “I think it’s a really good story if we can get him back playing. His agent phoned and said that he wanted him to be in a place where he could develop, and he’s at university in Lancaster so it’s ideal for him. I spoke to Joe himself and Ade Gardner about his potential and he’s got great footwork and speed and he’s a project for us really.”