Dan Toal admits it was a memorable occasion making his 200th Barrow Raiders appearance last weekend.
The former Ulverston amateur stepped up to the professional ranks with the Raiders in 2012 and has been with the club ever since.
His excellent displays were rewarded with confirmation of a new two-year deal in November last year.
Despite a thigh issue hindering his progress this season, the 32-year-old returned to first team action at the beginning of May and has since gone on to hit a double-century of appearances in Cumbria.
He achieved the milestone during the Raiders’ impressive recent 24-16 victory away at high-flying York City Knights.
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With an inspired team display on the road and two competition points for good measure, Toal admits the occasion couldn’t have gone any better.
“It feels great to reach 200 appearances. When I first started out for Barrow, I never imagined I’d play this many games, but here we are,” he said.
“Hopefully there’s many more to come. And to cap it off with a good win away from home made it even more memorable.
“I had a spell out for seven weeks or so, which wasn’t ideal, and I never even got to train before my first game back.
“Now I feel my match fitness has just kept increasing and I’m feeling good at the moment – well apart from a broken finger and a bad shoulder! Everyone’s carrying knocks, though, and the lads just keep digging in and working hard for each other every week.”
Paul Crarey’s squad will look to build upon last weekend’s impressive result when they welcome Cumbrian rivals Whitehaven to the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium on Sunday.
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Haven have won just four of their 17 league games so far, but Toal insists the Raiders cannot take anything for granted as they look to continue building momentum.
“I’m expecting a tough game as always in a Cumbrian derby, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “If we turn up and play to the standard we know we can, then I’m confident we should come out with a win, but Whitehaven won’t make it easy for us.
“The fans are massive in games like this. It’s always a good atmosphere in front of the home fans and I’m sure it’ll be no different on Sunday. Hopefully they can be as loud as always and give the lads a boost to go and grab the win.”
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