With a new name and a new home Newcastle Thunder coach Stanley Gene is confident his side will do well this year.
“Six years ago the club was struggling to go out and get wins and last year was very hard but we finished fourth, which I couldn’t believe,” he said.
“We’ve got a squad who can compete in this league and if they keep going like this we can achieve something big by the end of the season.
“Barrow are a very good side, they are the bookies favourite to win the league. It will be a challenge for us and a tough one which we’re looking forward to. Our boys are going to go in and see where we’re at. Hopefully we’re going to get a good crowd on Friday.”
Barrow Raiders coach Paul Crarey said: “It will be a tough challenge, I’ve watched a bit of video of them and they’re very enthusiastic and a big physical team.
“The challenge for us is our young side hasn’t played away from home yet so we’ll be going into the unknown but it should be a good game.
“If we’d have had to play last week we’d have been decimated with injuries, so the week off has been great. Hopefully this week we’ll get some bodies back and are looking forward to the week in week out league calendar.”