Ellis Gillam discusses Raiders’ form and winning mentality

Barrow Raiders have the confidence and spirit needed to maintain their success in the Betfred Championship, according to forward Ellis Gillam.

Last Sunday’s superb comeback victory over Sheffield Eagles has left the Raiders sixth in the league table, seven points clear of their nearest rivals as the fight for a play-off spot continues.

Gillam, who arrived at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium ahead of the 2022 season, has been an ever-present for the Raiders in all competitions, making 23 appearances in total. 

Ahead of this weekend’s clash with Bradford Bulls, the 24-year-old says their on-field success can be attributed to a combination of hard work on the training ground and a winning mentality in the dressing room. 

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“It just shows how tight we are as a group and our never-say-die attitude really,” he said following Sunday’s 36-32 victory. “We’ve got a core group of lads that graft and get the work done, then we’ve got some X-Factor players who can deliver those big moments.

“We’re playing with confidence, and a lot of that is down to Cresta [Paul Crarey]. He doesn’t give us too many targets – instead he says ‘keep it simple and go enjoy yourselves’.

“He likes his forwards to play, so we know we’re able to run, pass, offload. We haven’t got anything to hold back on.”

The Raiders will look to record a fourth successive victory next Sunday when Bradford Bulls visit the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium. 

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That will be followed at the end of July by a trip to Headingley to face John Kear’s Widnes Vikings at the 2022 Summer Bash. 

Gillam admits his team must take each game as it comes as they look to strengthen their grip on a play-off spot heading into the final rounds of the regular season. 

“We’re just taking it a block at a time, and for the three matches against Sheffield, Bradford and Widnes, we set ourselves the target of six points,” he said.

“We’ve got one out of the way, and now our full focus turns to this week against Bradford.”

On the home supporters, he added: “It’s great to see so many supporters down there cheering us on throughout the year.

“Credit to them, because it creates a real buzz on game day and gives us that extra incentive to send them home happy.”

Get your tickets for Sunday’s clash with Bradford Bulls!