WELL, this is it – our first game back in Championship after three seasons toughing it out in League One.

There has been progressive improvement over those three seasons under Paul Crarey and his coaching team, and they deserve success for all their hard work and sacrifice.

As Paul says, survival is the objective, and I’m sure the talented squad assembled is more than capable of securing our place.

The players all understand this season is going to be tough against stronger, quicker, smarter opposition, and it is inevitable there will be periods of immense pressure and disappointment.

Yes, the fitness regime has gone up a level, but mental toughness and togetherness will be just as important.

We play 23 games in the first phase and then. depending on league position, a further seven against either the bottom four teams in Super League and the rest of the top four in the Championship in the Super Eights, or against the other bottom seven teams Championship in a battle to win the Shield or avoid relegation.

I know there are a couple of big spenders in this division (Leigh and Toronto), but the majority of our opponents are struggling financially, so there is no reason we can’t compete on equal terms.

Aim high, because the higher we finish the more prize money we get. Finishing in the top four would get you at least £500k in prize money and significant extra gate revenue and sponsorship.

Tomorrow, it’s a trip to the capital to play London Broncos at their Trailfinders Stadium on an artificial 4G pitch. I'm not keen on these type of pitches, particularly for rugby league, but at least there won’t be any mud.

London finished the first phase in second place last season under ex-Barrow Raider Andrew Henderson, who was awarded Championship coach-of-the-year and then moved to Warrington Wolves to support new coach Steve Price after the departure of Tony Smith.

Danny Ward, the ex-Leeds Rhinos prop, who has been at the Broncos for several seasons and was Hendo’s deputy, has taken over the coaching duties with ex-Bradford Bulls star Jamie Langley.

They beat Doncaster at the Keepmoat in a pre-season friendly, and last week gave Super League Hull KR a good game, narrowly losing 24-18.

They have lost a few key players but still have a formidable squad. The star of the show is Jarrod Sammut, the classy Aussie who has a wealth of Super League experience and was a key figure for Workington Town a couple of seasons ago.

He is a maverick, very unpredictable, and has to be watched every minute of the game. Jamie Dallimore and Lewis Charnock will have to be at the top of their game to minimise his threat.

Other notable stars are Ben Hellewell, who had a short loan period with Raiders when we were last in the Championship, Keiran Dixon, Michael Channing, Jay Pitts, Tom Spencer, and Welsh internationals Ben Evans, Rhys Williams and Elliot Kear.

Broken record time, but we must be disciplined; you can’t give away countless penalties in this division. Lack of possession will kill us, and we don’t want to be tackling for 75 per cent of the game.

The last tackle option will be crucial. A try is the objective, but a repeat set is a good plan B.

I would like to wish everyone associated with the club great success. It is well deserved, and let’s hope competitive performances on the pitch will attract the support of the Furness public to create Fortress Craven Park.

Let’s start with a victory, and send a clear message that we are here to stay.