NEW Barrow Raiders signing Charlie Emslie is excited to ‘finally’ join the team after years of hard work and improving his game.

The 20-year-old, who is now a Matt Johnston Prestige Stadium player on a permanent basis, knows he cannot have an off-game now he will be playing at a higher level, and is relishing this opportunity.

“It is a great feeling, signing with Barrow,” the Millom man said.

“I have played a few friendlies, but I have been in their system since I was 16 but now I have finally got there.

“I did not really think twice about it when I was offered to sign this time. I think they have been trying to get me to do it for a while, but I did not feel ready until now.

“When I played in games before I did not feel I was at that level where I would be getting regular game time, but now I think I am ready to compete for a place.”

His solid defence, minimal error count and his all-round skills are something he prides himself on, and something that caught the eye of the higher-ups at Raiders who gave him this contract offer.

“Playing at this higher standard means I cannot have an off day,” the BAE Systems pipefitter continued.

“The vision the club has to get to Super League is also something I really want to be a part of as it matches my ambitions as a player.

“When I have spoken about this to people, they say I would not get in the team over some of the more experienced players, but I do not see it that way. I see it is as being able to learn from some of the top players and I am asking them questions all the time.

“My next goal is to get in the senior team for Scotland after playing in the u19s and the student teams.”

Emslie is a versatile player who usually resides in the back row and has been dubbed as ‘one for the future’ by director of rugby Andy Gaffney.

“Charlie has been with us on a dual contract basis and another who has come through the academy system,” Gaffney said.

“We have decided it was the right time for him to turn professional.

“He jumped at the chance to join us as he also felt the time was right.

“He is the future of this club, and he is one of the best in the county at the moment.

“He played in a couple of the warm-up friendlies at the start of the season and definitely did not look out of place.

“He definitely has a big future at Barrow, and he is good in that he can play a variety of positions because he is that skilled. Hopefully he can join other former academy players like Tom Hopkins or Jake Carter and make a big impression when he plays more regularly.”