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Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 10:03 UK

Dixon to leave Celtic Crusaders

John Dixon
John Dixon spent three years in charge of the Celtic Crusaders

Coach John Dixon is to leave the Celtic Crusaders after Sunday's final Super League match at Castleford.

Dixon's future at the club has been the subject of speculation for a number of weeks with Wigan boss Brian Noble being tipped to take over.

The Crusaders have struggled in their first season in Super League finishing bottom with just three wins.

They also had six players deported back to their native Australia because of visa irregularities.

"I am disappointed to be leaving but I respect the chairman's right to bring change," Dixon said in a Crusaders statement.

"I would like to thank all the players, staff, and the very loyal band of supporters who I feel have all played integral roles in the successes that the club has achieved over the last four years.

"I acknowledge that the first year in Super League has been difficult.


"But I would like to wish the club every success in the future and I am pleased to state that the development structures are now in place that will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the club and rugby league in Wales."

Dixon, who will return to Australia, was appointed three years ago from the Brisbane Broncos as the first coach of the newly formed Crusaders.

His goal was to secure a Super League licence for the club and succeeded by leading them through National League Two in 2007 and National League One in 2008.

Crusaders chairman Leighton Samuel said: "We would like to thank John for his outstanding contribution over the last few years.

"He has played a major role in getting the club to Super League and put down a development structure which should see the club benefit in the years to come.

"He has at all times been an excellent ambassador for the club and everyone would like to wish he and his wife Helen, all the best for the future."

The Crusaders say an announcement about a new coach will be made in the near future.

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see also
Castleford v Celtic (Sun)
11 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Deported Crusaders claim awards
12 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Noble link 'good for Crusaders'
11 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Dixon quiet on Crusaders future
04 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Noble not fazed by Wigan rumours
25 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League

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