Crarey seeking silverware to highlight Barrow’s revival

Away from the limelight, there has been a rejuvenation taking place at Barrow Raiders.

When Paul Crarey arrived at Barrow ahead of the 2015 season, he inherited a club that was, in many ways, on its knees.

After being relegated to League 1 the season before, the fundamental task at hand was to get the team firing on the field, but during his first two full seasons in charge, Crarey has been able to do something much more significant.

Indeed, the Cumbrians are now established as one of the competition’s top dogs and will inevitably be competing for promotion at the end of the season. But delve deeper into the developments, and out of it emerges a club that is strengthening its infrastructure to ensure they can enjoy long-term success at a higher level.

On Saturday, Crarey and his side have the chance to get their rise recognised in the Summer Bash spotlight, as they take on North Wales Crusaders in the League 1 Cup final.

Victory would provide Crarey with his first major silverware since returning to the club where he had previously played and coached, and he is hopeful his side will be able to do just that.

“It would be nice to get some reward for the work we’ve put in over the last two years,” he told TotalRL.

“We’ve rebuilt the club really from the ashes. To be up there like we are is good for us, if you take Toronto out of the comp we would probably be top, and last year we were third behind Toulouse and Rochdale who went up.

“With where we’ve come with the academy and the 16s scheme, this is what we need to do to show people we are heading in the right direction.

“We want to come out on top and get some silverware and put some money in the coffers.”

The Raiders head into the contest on the back of heavy defeats to Leeds and Toronto, and Crarey believes his side will have to assert their intentions on the Crusaders, who he believes may see his side as being fragile.

“I think North Wales will see us as a wounded animal,” he said.

“So we have to be ready for them. I watched them play London and they took them apart and in doing so showed plenty of enthusiasm. We’ve got to match that and more.

“We know it’s going to be tough, but looking at their results they’re a little bit inconsistent, but even still we need to be at our best.

“There will be a lot of Barrow fans going down for the day and we want them to enjoy it.”