Schofield challenges squad

New Barrow coach Garry Schofield is delighted with the squad he’s got going in to the season, but has put pressure on his players to perform.

Schofield’s appointment marked a significant coup for the Raiders, who have ambitions of elevation to Super League when the licence decision is announced on March 31st, and he succeeds Steve McCormack, who resigned close to the end of last season due to work commitments.

The Great Britain legend is happy to give his inherited squad a chance, but has his eye on the loan and dual registration market to bolster his squad.

He said: “We’ve added a few players to the squad and we’re happy, but I’m looking for consistent performances. If those performances are not there week in, week out, I do have the option of loans or dual registrations. There’s pressure on the players to perform every week to a standard that I’m satisfied with, if they do that then everyone will happy.

“But, for now, I’m delighted with the squad of 22 players I’ve got.”

It’s the second season that the dual registration system has been in place, enabling Super League clubs to send out their youngsters to gain experience in the Championship, but with the ability to recall them for any given game week.

Liam Farrell spent the start of last season on a dual-registration deal at Widnes, before becoming an important part of Wigan’s Super League championship team, while Leigh also enjoyed success with a trio of youngsters on deals from Warrington.

It’s a system that is new to Schofield as a coach. He added: “It can work in your benefit but sometimes it can’t. If a team gets a few injuries then they call their player back straight away, making you lose a quality player that you may be looking to build your team around or that quality you’re maybe looking for. So I guess it has its plusses and its minuses.”

But all in all, the 45-year-old is just delighted to be back coaching in the game, hoping to add to his illustrious playing career that included a joint-record 46 caps for Great Britain, in the Championships with the Raiders.

He said: “I’ve followed the Championships very, very closely. I think the quality is excellent, we all see it on Thursday night on Sky now. The competition and the quality is pretty close you don’t see too many games that are runaway victories. That’s what makes it more competitive when you don’t see too many one sided results but from a coach’s point of view that’s the way you want to see it, players performing at a high level week in week out.”

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