Paul Crarey reflects on Coach of the Year triumph

Paul Crarey says his Betfred Championship Coach of the Year success at yesterday’s awards evening is testament to the hard work of the entire club, rather than just himself.

Crarey beat Leigh Centurions’ Adrian Lam and Halifax Panthers head coach Simon Grix to the award after the Raiders finished fourth in the league table on their return to the second tier.

He admits that his recognition at last night’s Betfred Championship and League 1 Awards came as a total surprise.

“I couldn’t speak when I got up there,” he told BBC Radio Cumbria. “I was sat there thinking it’d be another bridesmaid’s job, and my wife made me come!

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“I sat there not expecting anything, then my name was called out and there was a massive cheer from the Barrow end. I couldn’t believe it was me.

“I looked down, and [Simon] Grix and Adrian Lam were looking at me. I’ve come top of the pile, voted for by my peers.

“Probably the biggest achievement of any sportsman is getting recognition and respect from your comrades, so I’m proud. 

“It’s an award for the club, not for me. Players make coaches, and I’ll always say that.”

Photo credit: SWPix

In addition to Crarey’s individual recognition, Barrow Raiders were also named Club of the Year, while Tee Ritson and the Advantage! Barrow Community Foundation were nominated for Player of the Year and Foundation of the Year respectively. 

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“The players have a big say in what we’ve achieved this season, and not Paul Crarey,” the Raiders head coach added. “I’m just a frontman who has worked considerably hard for the club.

“Probably a few thought I’d taken the club as far as I could take them. 

“I know that’s been said, probably even in the boardroom, and I’ve probably proved all the doubters wrong so I’m pretty pleased about that.”

Photo credit: SWPix

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