Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is trusting his players to maintain their fitness throughout the current UK lockdown.

As a result of Monday’s announcement by prime minister Boris Johnson, Championship and League 1 clubs have paused their pre-season training schedules.

With the Raiders only returning to training at Craven Park before Christmas, Crarey believes the lockdown will affect their 2021 season preparation.

“It has put us back,” he began.

“We had six quality sessions before Christmas and the lads worked extremely hard.

“The lads have got to look after themselves now, we can monitor them as much as we can, but it is up to them to be in a good condition when they come back.”

Currently, Crarey’s side are set to start their 2021 campaign with a first-round tie in the Challenge Cup during the weekend of March 6.

The Mail: LAST GAME: Barrow Raiders 50-6 Coventry Bears, March 2020.LAST GAME: Barrow Raiders 50-6 Coventry Bears, March 2020.

If victorious, the League 1 club will then play a second-round match during the following weekend.

The Raiders’ League 1 campaign will start on the weekend of March 20.

With just over eight weeks to go until their first game, Crarey has admitted that there is now a greater risk of injuries.

Crarey also revealed that the club will not return to training until 15 February.

As a result of the now shortened pre-season, Crarey believes that their Challenge Cup game could be rearranged to a later date.

Crarey explained: “The closer we get to March without any training, I doubt very much we will start when the Challenge Cup is drawn for.

“We need a spell where the lads are tackling each other to get them ready because they haven’t done any contact for nearly 12 months now.

“We have just got to be ready in case it is a short turnaround before we start playing.

“The pre-season could be as little as four weeks.”