Barrow Raiders add more power to pack

A HARD-RUNNING prop with Super League credentials has joined Barrow Raiders.

Glenn Riley became the latest addition to coach Paul Crarey’s squad after agreeing a one year deal with the club.

Powerful performances for his former club Whitehaven impressed Crarey, who had a first hand view of him during the West Cumbrian club’s three League One clashes against Barrow last season, and he liked what he saw from the young wrecking ball.

The 25-year-old was delighted when Crarey came calling and now he is eager to impress his new boss in the Championship, which kicks off for Barrow on Februray 4 at London Broncos, one of Riley’s old clubs.

Riley decided to join Barrow after the League One play-off final, in which Barrow beat Whitehaven 10-6 in an epic clash.

“It’s Championship rugby league, and I decided to take that step back up,” said Riley, whose partner Clair Beeby is expecting their second child.

“I am really excited, I know quite a few of the boys there already. I have played with a few of them before and it will be good to get back on the field with them.

“There’s a buzz about the place, being promoted. We will try and maintain that place in the Championship and doing as well as possible, so it’s quite exciting times.”

Former BARLA international tourist Riley, who started his professional career with Warrington Wolves before returing home to Frizington, said it was not an easy decision to leave Whitehaven, where he had been for two seasons.

“I am a Whitehaven lad and I took quite a while to think about it, a lot of my family support Whitehaven and have been down there for years, and I got along with the boys and coaching staff really well,” said Riley.

“They offered me a contract again, but it was time to move on and play in a better league and higher standard.”

That lure of playing a higher grade rugby proved too tempting for the former Wath Brow Hornets amateur, who played 22 Super League games for Warrington

“It was just that fact that it is a league above, I just want to play in that better standard of rugby,” he said. “But is was quite a hard decision to be honest.”

Looking ahead to the start of the season in which Barrow open against London before home games against Toronto Wolfpack and Leigh Centurions, the fitness instructior and personal trainer at Workington Leisure Centre added: “The first three or four games are going to be a real test.

“It will be good to get a feel of where we are as a group, try and do well against those top teams and build from there, and even take a few scalps if we can.”

Riley moved to Warrington aged 18 starting his career there in the reserve grade and earned a full time contract, eventually graduating to the first team.

He hasn’t ruled out a return to Super League, adding: “We all dream of playing at a higher standard and Barrow is a step in the right direction, and I am making strides to hopefully return one day.”

Another reason which persuaded Riley to join Barrow was competition for places in the front row, as he said: “Everyone has to raise their game to get picked. If you are not playing well there is someone biting at your heels to get your shirt, so it means you always have to be on the top of your game which is good.”

Crarey said: “He was a stand out player last year for Whitehaven. I watched him very closely in the three league games against us and I thought he was outstanding, probably the best forward on the park.

“He caused us problems and physically he is a big unit. Anyone who plays Super League is a talent.”

He added: “What I was impressed is that he wasn’t interested in money, he never mentioned it

he just said he wanted to play Championship.

“It’s a big wrench to leave your hometown club and he said that as well. But what he wants to do is test himself at Championship level.

“We are going for young and hungry players that want to learn. Glenn fits that bill.”

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