Sharpe savours start of Barrow’s Championship campaign
EXCITED Barrow Raiders chairman David Sharpe cannot wait for the Betfred Championship season to kick off.
Paul Crarey’s team head to the capital this Sunday to face the challenge of containing a highly regarded London Broncos.
But it is the next two matches – both at the JF Hornby Stadium – which Sharpe is especially relishing.
Barrow Raiders host Toronto Wolfpack on February 11 and then welcome Leigh Centurions the following Sunday.
Both sides are bristling with former Super League players, but Sharpe feels a Barrow side coached by Crarey will ready for the confrontations.
“After a very strenuous off-season we can now look forward to our first Championship fixture, away to the London Broncos, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to seeing the 2018 team in action,” said Sharpe.
“Our first home games will be a tremendous test as we welcome Toronto to Craven Park on Sunday, February11, having been the only team to play them twice in Toronto last season. They will be followed by the mighty Leigh Centurions.
“Despite the Toronto team being full of ex-Super League stars the Raiders are confident of giving a strong, competitive performance.”
Barrow earned their right to take on such clubs after a promotion-winning season in League One, which climaxed in a brilliant 10-6 win over Whitehaven in the play-off final and witnessed by more than 3,000 spectators.
Crarey has since added to his squad, bringing in Aussie and Italian international duo Dean Parata and Alec Susino along with Glenn Riley from Whitehaven and ex-Rochdale Hornet Jono Smith.
Sharpe wants to share his excitement with the club’s faithful, and said: “This is a superb opportunity for every rugby league supporter in Barrow and beyond to watch first class rugby, and for the club to continue improving and developing on and off the field – the match day revenue is vital.
“I know that Barrow is a rugby league town and this will be the highest level and quality of game that Craven Park will have witnessed for many years.
“Don’t miss this opportunity to watch the Raiders – your support is the club’s future. So please come to Craven Park on Sunday, February 11, to watch your Barrow Raiders tame the Toronto Wolfpack.”