Barrow Raiders chairman Steve Neale writes a weekly column for The Mail.

THINGS are really moving at the club and sometimes it feels, from a personal perspective, that we are moving too fast.

There are loads of improvements happening across the various departments and the workload the board of directors have is high. There is a great work ethic that is shining through and there is no room for passengers. We are juggling that many balls that we just hope we do not drop any.

From a playing perspective, we have our sights firmly set on the Oldham fixture. With no warm-up games it is hard to gauge where we are in preparation but if hard work is a guide the players should be fine. There is a determination in the camp to have a successful season and getting a cup run would be great preparation for the league campaign.

The shadow of Covid-19 is never too far away and we are still jumping through hoops to meet all of the protocols that the RFL have put in place to safely return to train and play. Obviously, the first few games are behind closed doors, but we urge our supporters to register on the OurLeague platform, not forgetting to choose Barrow as your team and subscribe to the streaming service. There were a couple of pre-season friendlies last weekend and from all reports the standard of production was very high. The RFL is not taking any revenue from the subscriptions, with all of the money coming back to the clubs. Our tie with Oldham already has a high number of subscribers compared to some of the other cup fixtures and this could be a vital return for us in the absence of shared gate receipts.

Elsewhere, the community team are looking to ramp up their work activities given that schools have reopened, and early indications are that the service they provide will be more popular than ever. Given that there has been a steady stream of grant awards and there are obligations to the grant providers that we must fulfil, it is inevitable that we will need to recruit more staff. Helping the community through sport can be a great career choice and it would be great to add to our quality team.

This week we had a community meeting and we have given them the added challenge of helping to grow our crowds and providing invites to community groups to deliver entertainment before the main event. The strategy is still to get the crowds in early and to make money through the secondary spends on food and drink. Barrow Raiders want to shock the rugby league world this summer with how successful their crowd initiatives will be. We want to be the best-supported team outside Super League and, although ambitious, we believe it is achievable.

There will be other job opportunities within the club as we prepare for a successful summer off the pitch. We need staff to support our matchdays and events and over the next few weeks you will see a spate of opportunities.

We also would like the boardroom to reach its full capacity of 12 and for the right people there could be an opportunity in that direction. Ideally, we are looking for diversification so that we get some lateral thinking and try to engage with all sections of the community. We are looking for people with vision of growth to join our club.