Crusaders Football Club are extremely pleased to announce that manager Stephen Baxter has signed a two year extension to his current contract that has a year still to run. Stephen put “”pen to paper"" on Monday evening after what was described as very quick and positive talks and will lead Crusaders until at least the end of the 2024-25 season making it twenty years at the helm.
Stephen was overjoyed and spoke to the website straight after saying “I am really pleased that the club are in a good position and going forward we have really good plans as to where we want to try and get to. When things like this comes around it is very easy to put together. My relationship with the club here over a long period of time has been so easy and contracts are discussed and talked about in five minutes between us and it makes it so easy when you work with really good people and I have that at board level working with Ronnie, Tommy and Mark and all the other guys that have have been so easy to work with over the years dating back to Jim Semple and John Mairs so all of that has been a pleasure to work with. When you have a strong board with good structures behind them and know the ethos of the club and what they are looking for it makes my job easy and when I know what they want and the type of establishment we are trying to build here it's great so I am delighted to get it done and as I say we have been having a quick chat around it over the last week or so and it was only a matter of getting the formalities worked out and it only took a few minutes to do it”
When asked the question of having his sights on the 100o games in charge given he passed 850 during the season Stephen modestly replied " Things like that don't honestly interest me. You know it's nice when they come around and the records will show that but I don't sit and think about it day to day. You know there is so much to get on with in football and that is the day to day and since the season has finished we are talking to players, we are looking at areas we want to strengthen or maybe players that are moving on whatever the case may be and there is always something going on with the football club every day of the week. That's how it works and we are building towards a new season. We only have four weeks off and yet we are still planning our preparations and we will go into preseason and get ready for Europe so all of those things will be on my mind over the next few weeks. So the records will speak for themselves and whatever milestones we hit it will be nice to look back on in a few years time but for now we are heads down, work incredibly hard to make sure we stay competitive because the league is getting more competitive year by year, teams are improving, the professionalism that has come into the game has been extraordinary in the last few years so in order for us to compete we have to keep working harder and bring the right players here to keep moving the club forward.
Chairman Ronnie Millar was also delighted and told the website “ Stephen signing is absolutely fantastic. It was no brainer because at the end of the day Stephen has produced the goods both as a player and manager for such a long time. The service he has given this club and the trophies he has brought here has been wonderful. It was very easy dealing with Stephen over the contract talks and especially after winning the Irish Cup and we have the best manager in the country by far”
Great to have you with us Stephen for a while yet and the new season and new goals are not that long away as we embark on the 2022-23 season.