Goulding geared up for Tetley's Challenge Cup test
By Liam Williams
New Barrow Raiders coach Bobbie Goulding is looking for his players to show him what they have to offer when they take on Keighley Cougars in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round at Cougar Park on Sunday (2.00pm).
Goulding took over at Barrow last week and is one of the most successful players to have competed for Rugby League’s oldest and most coveted trophy, winning it four times as a player, and hopes to pass that experience onto his players.
“Everyone’s been brought up with the Challenge Cup,” said Goulding. “It’s the biggest competition in the world and if we have players at this level who don’t want to be testing themselves against the likes of St Helens, Leeds and Wigan then they should not be here.
“Keighley will be in the same boat as us. We both really want to get through and get a big tie to get some money into the clubs. It’s all part of the razzmatazz of the cup; it’s brilliant.
“There’s going to be at least one Championship club in the fifth round and we need to do our best to make sure it’s us.
“But we will be taking each step as it comes. Keighley are a very good side and we have a lot of respect for them.”
With five Championship clubs being relegated this season, the priority for many clubs will be survival, but Goulding says that his players are being presented with a massive opportunity on Sunday.
“It is hard to balance because the priority is staying up,” he said. “But we’d love a run in the Cup. It is not a weekend off. I’m a new coach and I’m looking for players to step up and perform.
“If the 17 that I pick do play well then they get to keep the jersey, it’s as simple as that. If they don’t, they’re out, it is up to them.
“I’ve settled in well but there’s a lot of work to be done. There’s a hell of a battle on to get these players where they should be but God doesn’t give his hardest battle to his weakest soldiers.
“I got a proper look at the lads this weekend and they are not fit enough. That’s not their fault, there’s a variety of factors behind it. But the main priority as a player is being as fit as you can and we aren’t there at the moment.
“I’ll be flogging them at training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it will take four to six weeks to get them up to speed and I can be judged when they are fit, but don’t judge me until then.
“If we can pick up some results in that time I’ll be delighted.”
Tickets for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round match, Keighley Cougars vs Barrow Raiders taking place at Cougar Park, on Sunday April 6 (2.00pm) are available and are priced at £15 for adults and £8 for concessions.
Tickets for the 2014 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 cost from as little as £22 and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
To take advantage of the limited-time seat upgrade offer for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final, Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 23 please use the promotional code CCF01 to pay the price category below the seat selected (not available on £22 or £77 seats). This offer is available until Friday April 18.