Talented half-back Ryan Johnston extends Championship stay

James Messenger

Photo credit: Barrow Raiders

Barrow Raiders half-back Ryan Johnston has signed a new one-year deal, keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2023 Betfred Championship season.

He has been with Barrow since 2017, scoring twice on his first team debut in an 82-0 victory over Hemel Stags.

Johnston has gone on to make 70 appearances in all competitions, 20 of which came during the 2022 campaign. 

He established an excellent partnership in the halves with Jarrod Sammut and Jake Carter, both of whom also featured extensively for the Raiders as they reached the play-offs on their return to the second tier last season. 

On his decision to stay, Johnston said: “I’m very happy to have put pen to paper again for Barrow. It’s somewhere that feels like home to me, and somewhere I will always give 100% to. 

“Going into this year, I really want to hit the ground running. 

“It’s probably been a blessing in disguise, the season finishing for me and being able to give my body the rest it needed after playing with injuries throughout the year. 

“Every time I wear the badge you can always improve, learn and improve as individuals, and as a club, and with the foundations that Steve Neale, the board and Cresta have set, we can really build something special over the next couple of years.”

“From a boy to a man”

Photo credit: Barrow Raiders

Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey said: “I watched Ryan come through. He’s tremendously skilled, and sometimes he’ll wind the opposition up a little too much!

“He’s a cocky half-back and sometimes he needs to rein that in, but he’s a great talker and he and Jake Carter have gone from boys to men over the last year. 

Chairman Steve Neale added: “When Ryan first joined the club, we had high hopes for what he could achieve in Raiders colours. 

“Now, five years on, he has developed into a dominant, creative half-back, but just as importantly a real leader within the group.

“This new deal is testament to Ryan’s performances over the past 12 months, and we are keen to see him remain with us for many years to come.”

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