Raiders rookies ready for first test against select side
FURNESS Raiders academy kids can expect a tough exam when they take on a Barrow and District select at Craven Park on Wednesday, September 21 (kick-off 7.30pm).
The sides served up a thriller when they clashed the last time in what was the level three academy team’s first taste of action.
Although defeated 34-20 Darren Carter’s outfit led 12-10 at the break, only tiring toward the end of the game.
The youngsters will be keen to get the friendly under their belts ahead of what will be their first season in the Premier Division of the RFL College League.
They could not have expected a more difficult opener with Wigan Warriors Education Academy Men’s 1 set to arrive at Craven Park on Wednesday, October 5.
Head coach Carter has been happy with how his rookies have been performing in pre-season and he said ahead of the friendly: “We are looking forward to getting that first game under our belts, and I am looking forward to giving all the players a little opportunity to have some game time as well.
“The training has been really good, Paddy Maher (fitness and conditioning) has been really putting them through their paces and they are all putting the effort in.
“It would be good to get a decent crowd in, it was a success the last time against the Barrow and District, they put a strong side out and we gave them a good game. I am hoping that it is going to be the same again this time.
“I think it is good for the league and the lads, it gives them opportunities to play down at Craven Park. They enjoyed it the last time, it was a good game played in a good spirit.”
Looking to the Wigan Warriors visit, he said: “We are looking forward to testing ourselves against the Wigan Warriors college, it will be the first proper competitive match in the league, it is definitely going to be a challenge for us. Hopefully we will meet all the challenges that come our way.
“It will be a good bench mark and I am pretty confident that our lads will give a good account of themselves and do themselves and the college proud.”
He added: “I have got a great group and I like being involved with them, all the coaching staff like to be around them, they are good lads.”
Carter has been delighted by the support the academy have received from sponsors and partners – Furness College, the Super Lotto, Furness Building Society, Travel the Globe, the Ambrose and Knightsbridge Motors – and would like to thank them all.
“We are really impressed with all our partners this thing wouldn’t have happened without the support of those people,” he said.
“I cannot stress how important their contribution has been really.”
It was Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey’s dream of seeing academy rugby league return to Barrow last season and it became a reality after Barrow Raiders formed a partnership with Furness College to put out an side to compete in the RFL College League.
Immediate Furness Raiders fixtures:
Wednesday, October 5: Furness Raiders College Men’s 1 v Wigan Warriors Education Academy.
Wednesday, October 12: Coleg Y Cymoedd 1 v Furness Raiders College.
Wednesday, October 19: Hopwood Hall v Furness Raiders College.
Wednesday, November 2: Furness Raiders College v South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
(Dates subject to confirmation).