Barrow Raiders’ head coach Paul Crarey and star Tee Ritson are pleased to have been back in training after an extended break from rugby league.

Last Saturday, the Raiders had their first training session in nine months.

There was a really positive atmosphere at Craven Park according to head coach Crarey, who is preparing his side for a league campaign which may yet be in the Championship rather than League 1.

The Raiders will find out today at 2pm if their bid for promotion to the Championship was successful after they applied to fill the vacant spot in the division above.

“It is good to be back,” Crarey said.

“There was a real buzz about the place.

“The lads were dying to get back and they have all returned in great shape.”

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Ritson added: “It was great.

“We haven’t trained since March, but all the lads really enjoyed it.

“It was just nice to see everyone again, have a catch-up, get a ball in our hands and get going, looking forward to next year.”

Strict Covid-19 regulations were followed at the Craven Park outfit after the Rugby Football League (RFL) granted permission for their return.

Crarey has praised Steve Neale and Darren Herbert at the club for ensuring the players returned to the safest environment possible.

Players arrived in different groups to the ground at 9am.

Following Covid-19 checks, training commenced at 9.45am.

Boss Crarey highlighted that he will be easing the players back into a proper training schedule.

Currently, the team are focusing on strength and conditioning.

With the 2021 RFL season increasingly likely for a March start, Crarey is aiming to have his players up to match fitness by February.

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Crarey said: “I reckon it will take eight to 10 weeks when we get back in January.

“We want to make sure the players are in some sort of shape for Christmas, when they are given time off.

“We will bring them back in January, so I think by the middle or end of February we should be there.”