IT was a good job that we scheduled an overnight stay for our trip to West Wales at the weekend with the journey taking 10 hours, but the team were very professional and put in a solid performance.

The pleasing thing was that we were able to rotate the squad, and those we brought in sent the message that they were more than capable of playing week in, week out.

We picked up a couple of injuries but the depth in the squad is to our advantage.

We are now beginning to see how fragile some of the other teams are who have relied heavily on loans and dual registrations in the past. We believe in producing our own talent and that was emphasised with another signing from our Furness Raiders team in Charlie Emslie.

This is a player with a very bright future. Our community teams have been responsible for nurturing the youngsters and it is to their credit that the likes of Millom are able to produce players fit for the professional game. We are truly blessed that we have nine hard working clubs giving opportunities to players and some areas would give their right arm for that.

We have added Raider Braves and Raiders Girls to the opportunities to play which targets youngsters that just want a ball in their hand but perhaps aren’t quite ready to make the commitment of joining a club.

There are Raider Braves and Raiders Girls joint coaching sessions before the game on Saturday between 10.30am and Noon with an open invitation to new starters.

It is essential if we are to flourish that we maintain and then start to grow our numbers in rugby league and these sessions just offer fun for the children.

Our Ladies team pulled off a great win at Stanningley at the weekend to join the men in being the only unbeaten team in their league.

We have been having discussions with the RFL about the future direction of the Ladies game.

There is a concern that the top four or five clubs in Super League are so much better than their rivals and that there have been some lopsided scorelines. For me, that is simply a challenge to make sure we recruit strongly and make our squad fit for purpose. We are the only professional club supporting a ladies team in Cumbria and part of our development plan will be to cast our net wide and try to bring the very best athletes to the club even if they come without a rugby league pedigree.

You generally find that top sportsmen and sportswomen are adaptable and excel at different sports.

We are again repeating our free admission strategy for everyone in the ground before 1pm for this Saturday’s visit of Rochdale.

I am starting to hear of people coming to the match for the very first time and, of course, this is the desired outcome. The financial numbers from the previous Sunday did stack up and this might end up being the model for the remainder of the season.

Our number one KPI is to increase the crowds. If we manage to do that then everything else will fall into place so much easier. Once we have people simply watching rugby then the knock-on effects are more people playing the game, more interest in our community projects, more people interested in helping off the field, more excitement for our sponsors and more awareness of their products. It really is an upward spiral and growing crowds will continue to be our focus.