Barrow Raiders chairman Steve Neale looks to future

ANOTHER disappointing result at Doncaster but we must dust ourselves down and pick ourselves up for the remainder of the season.

As things get to the critical stage there is tension in the camp and I spoke to Paul Crarey, our coach, earlier this week and he is trying to get the players to play with a smile on their faces and try not to worry about making mistakes; easier said than done.

Workington put themselves in pole position but they themselves buckled at the weekend and there could well be some twists and turns in the final three weeks.

They have a tough trip to Doncaster then travel to London before finishing at home to Hunslet.

We have London and West Wales at home interspersed with Rochdale away.

Obviously, we all want promotion, and we believe we have a squad good enough to achieve that, but it could well be that we must do things the hard way.

A victory this weekend should ensure second place as a minimum and with it home advantage for the first qualifying final. If we were to win that then we would go straight to the final at home but if we lost and made the final the hard way, then we would also lose home advantage.

Off the field we must continue to do all we can to put the club in as strong a position as possible.

We are hoping to have enough funds to put a competitive team together for the Championship and a real tilt at making Super League 2 in 2023 if that happens because of a restructure.

I am on a working committee which will meet later this week trying to thrash out what both 2022 and 2023 will look like in terms of league sizes and promotion opportunities.

League One has been a tremendous competition this season and I don’t believe it should be left high and dry with nothing to play for next year.

As a minimum I will be pushing for the Champions to be involved in a play-off to try to secure the final Super League 2 place. There is so much good work going on in Tier 3 that it would be a real shame if we were to lose some clubs through lack of opportunity together with a sharp drop in funding.

If the worst came to the worst and we failed to achieve promotion, then this will not stop the vision for the club. We have always said that the improvement in facilities must keep pace with any improvements to the team and it would give us the opportunity to speed up some of those projects.

ROCKED: Barrow Raiders home ground, Craven Park.

ROCKED: Barrow Raiders’ home ground, Craven Park.

We have been looking at the facilities criteria to be accepted into Super League and the absolute minimum is 5,000 capacity, with 2,000 seated.

With that in mind we have been meeting with some companies that have given us some ideas of installing extra seating in various parts of the ground.

We would hope that there are grants that we could tap into to help make those ideas become a reality.

We held a meeting this week with our Events Director, Jack Fawcett, and we have put some ambitious plans in place to help continue our joint ambition of making Barrow a better place to live by providing some of the events the town has been sadly lacking.

Jack has some great ideas that hopefully will become reality. We have plans to upgrade the seating and decor in our marquee and then we have a list of events that includes DJ Andy Whitby, Oktoberfest, Halloween weekend parties and scary movies on the big screen, Christmas parties and Christmas week including an ice rinks, stalls, and Christmas movie classics. I don’t think anyone can accuse us of lacking creativity, drive, and ambition.