NEWLY-PROMOTED Barrow have confirmed that Aussie new-boy Dean Parata (26), a half-back, hooker or loose-forward, will make his debut against Oldham on a very heavy Craven Park pitch tomorrow (Sunday, Jan 21). Please be reminded that this second pre-season run-out for both teams kicks off at 2pm.
Sydney-born Parata, who will work full-time for the club as its commercial manager, has played for a couple of Aussie clubs that ‘feed’ NRL sides Parramatta and Manly. It will be his first game in England.
He told the club’s website: “It will be very different to what I’m used to. In Australia, it’s very hot and very fast. I think here it will be very physical and very cold.
“Barrow is a club on the up and I decided to come over here and chance my arm.”
His fellow Aussie, Alec Susino, will also be in the squad to face Scott Naylor’s boys, but Raiders boss Paul Crarey has warned Barrow fans not to expect too much too soon from their imports from Down Under.
He said: “You’ve got to give these fellows time. They are used to playing on a dry track and we are expecting them to be world-beaters straight away.
“The ground is so heavy it is unbelievable and there is no traction for dummy-half runners so we’ve got to do it tough early in the season and use our forwards.
“Along with Alec Susino and players like that, Dean (Parata) will come in to his own when the grounds firm up.”
Oldham will travel up the M6 buoyed by their 28-24 Law Cup win at Rochdale and ready for a tough, physical encounter on a heavy pitch in wintry conditions and on a ground where it’s traditionally difficult for visiting teams.
“It will show me what our lads have inside them and that’s why I like going to Barrow in pre-season,” summed-up Naylor.
Admission prices are £10 adults, £7 concessions, £3 for under-16s.