In the latest of a new series as a part of our match preview line-up, we will be looking at 5 players in the opposition line-up to look out for once they take to the field against the Cougars at the weekend.
We move on to the next edition of the ‘Ones To Watch’ series with Sunday’s opponents at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium, Barrow Raiders.
The name Jamie Dallimore sends shivers down the spines of Keighley Cougars full backs past.
A man who is notorious for saving his two Man of the Match performances of the season for the Cougars in seasons gone by, his trademark high bombing kicks will keep both the full-back and wingers on their toes come 3pm on Sunday.
Without question one of the greatest half-backs in the third tier’s modern era since 2003, his points scoring and promotion record with Oldham, North Wales, and Barrow, speak for themselves.
Labelled as ‘the best kicker in the division’ it is seen as a major coup year on year for the Raiders that they persuade him to turn down interest from clubs in the higher divisions to remain at Craven Park.
Now into his fifth season at Barrow, his time with the club has seen him inspire the Raiders to promotion to the Championship in 2018 as well as going viral with his now famed 100 metres goal-line dropout.
His leadership qualities are also regularly praised by Head Coach Paul Crarey, especially last year prior to the pandemic where he served as stand in captain whilst Jarrad Stack was side-lined through injury.
Veteran prop Carl Forster adds experience, leadership, and physicality, to the Raiders squad as he heads into his second season at Craven Park.
Becoming a mainstay and major name within League One during the past five years, Forster’s track record speaks for itself.
As player-coach at Whitehaven, he led the Marras to within four minutes of promotion before being cruelly denied by his current club, before returning to Haven as just a player midway through the 2019 season and becoming a major factor in their League One title winning team.
He then made the move to Barrow prior to the pandemic shutdown and will be looking to add another promotion from the third tier in Cumbria to his belt this coming season with the Raiders.
Breaking through in Super League with both St Helens and Salford, a series of loan spells with various clubs in the Championship and League One made the transition into the part-time game natural for the forward.
After spells coaching with both Whitehaven and then Rochdale, his arrival at Barrow has seen Forster make the decision to focus on his playing career and he will be looking to be a promotion winner once more come September and October.
French international Hakim Miloudi is a new recruit at the Cumbrian outfit who only joined the Raiders on Monday of this week and is seen as a statement of intent for the League One promotion hopefuls.
A utility who can play anywhere across the backline, he returns to the English game following a spell with the Palau Broncos in the French Elite Championship over the winter.
Making a name for himself in the French Elite Championship at a young age, Miloudi caught the eye of scouts in England and made the transition to the full-time game, and Super League, ahead of the 2017 season when he signed with Hull FC.
During his time with the black and whites, he gained League One experience on dual registration with Doncaster in a spell where he equalled the Dons club record for most points scored in a match.
With chances restricted at Hull, the utility back moved on and signed with the Toronto Wolfpack where he became a mainstay in the side, mostly at centre, for Brian McDermott as the Pack gained promotion before their doomed Super League campaign last year.
Internationally, Miloudi is a regular name in the France squad and represented his country in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia.
And the decision to join Barrow is one fuelled by international ambition, with Hakim looking to make the France squad for this year’s World Cup in a move which can only be to the benefit of the player, the Raiders, and his nation.
Re-uniting with brother Jordan at Barrow for this season, the arrival of Adam Walne from Super League side Huddersfield Giants was seen as one of many big-name signings made by the Raiders for this season.
The 29-year-old, who began his career with the Salford Red Devils before climbing his way up to the Super League has opted to move out of the full-time game to sign for the Raiders.
The prop, who had a spell at the Raiders under dual registration in 2014, has recently set up his own conditioning business and believes now is the right time to move into the part time game.
Walne signed with Huddersfield after ending his lengthy spell with Salford in the Super League in 2018, making 12 appearances for the Yorkshire side along with eight outings for Leigh Centurions during a loan spell.
Despite being in full time rugby, the ex-Salford man has opted for the Raiders and to run his own business, Raw&Outdoor, partly down to the large percentage of players in rugby that have nothing to fall back on when their careers end.
He adds experience, size, and grit, to an already dangerous Barrow pack and they will provide the Cougars pack with their toughest test to date in the early stages of the season.
The Thailand international flyer is arguably the most exciting player that Betfred League 1 will have to offer this season.
Breaking onto the scene as a teenager with Workington Town, Ritson has played the majority of his career in the third tier but has never failed to light up the stages he has plied his trade on to date.
His early career at Derwent Park was a successful one, as his star shone the brightest following his professional debut aged 17 and his try-scoring exploits and high calibre performances earned him the League One Young Player of the Year award and a move to the Newcastle Thunder.
Despite moving across to the Thunder, Tee continued to impress with the faster track created by Kingston Park’s 4G pitch allowing him to continue to show off his impressive speed and technical ability on a grander stage.
And after Barrow beat Newcastle in the play-offs on their way to eventual promotion into the Championship, the Raiders moved quickly to secure his services at Craven Park and bring him home to Cumbria.
Since joining Paul Crarey’s outfit, Ritson has been a regular on the wing in both the Championship and League One firmly cementing himself as a dangerous threat in attack and living up to his moniker as one of the division’s most talented and must watch performers.
Internationally, the winger has featured for Thailand since 2016 after making his debut during their tour of Malta in the autumn of that year.
By Joshua Chapman