DESPITE agonisingly missing out on a lucrative play-off spot by just one point, Barrow AFC can look back on their 2023-24 season as a success.

The Bluebirds enjoyed one of their best seasons on record in their 122-year history under head coach Pete Wild’s tutelage having amassed 69 points – seven more than in their previous campaign.

It looked almost a certainty that they would finish inside one of the play-off places, having spent almost the entire season in the top seven pushing towards challenging for an automatic promotion spot… but nothing is ever guaranteed in football.

Ultimately, a poor run of form in April, which saw the side accumulate just two points from their last seven matches, cost supporters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of a possible Wembley date with destiny.

However, Barrow AFC have come on leaps and bounds over the past two seasons under their new head coach.

When Wild took over the reins from Phil Brown in May 2022, the team had finished in 22nd position teetering just above the relegation zone.

After some shrewd new acquisitions featuring the likes of Robbie Gotts, George Ray and Ben Whitfield, Wild guided Barrow to a ninth placed finish in the 2022-23 season having accumulated 62 points – 18 points more than in their previous campaign.

Wild bolstered his ranks once again this campaign in what was a largely new-look side.

He intelligently added youthful players such as Junior Tiensia, Kian Spence and Dean Campbell to his ranks and coupled those signings with the experience of James Chester, David Worrall and Dominic Telford.

Wild also made sure to make the most out of the loan market having secured the loan signings of Luca Stephenson and Cole Stockton, who have now both returned to their parent clubs.

The Club announced their retained list at the start of the month which detailed that they were discussing new deals with Chester and Whitfield, but releasing ten players following the expiry of their contract.

So where do Barrow AFC go from here?

Hierarchy will be forced to replace the likes of Ray, Jamie Proctor, Tom White, Courtney Duffus, Tyrell Warren and Sam Bellis, who have all been released from their duties following the expiry of their contracts.

It is therefore important that Barrow AFC go about their business in the transfer market diligently and once again make the most of the loan market.

The Club’s scouting network will be on the lookout for players with EFL experience under their belt, as well as talent playing in the lower echelons of the football pyramid who they think can make the step up to the Football League.

Wild has a track record of signing players from National League clubs, having secured the signing of Emile Acquah from Maidenhead United and Tiensia from Solihull Moors last year.

Acquah was the Club’s joint second highest goal scorer this season and proved to be one of the sides standout performers.

With careful acquisitions in the transfer market, Barrow AFC will be able to continue their progression and push on once again next season.

The Club will be able to sign players when the transfer window opens on June 14 until September 2 when it slams shut until January next year.