Baxter sure Crusaders are ‘hungry’ for more success

Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter remains “as hungry as ever” to deliver major silverware success with Crusaders.

The Crues kick-off the defence of their Danske Bank Premiership title on Saturday afternoon against Portadown at Seaview (3pm).

It will be the first step on what Baxter hopes is a successful defence of the Gibson Cup.

Crusaders won their first title in 18 years last season as they finished 10 points ahead of Linfield.

It completed a stellar medal haul for Baxter, with the Shore Road boss having won every domestic honour available – including the all-Ireland Setanta Sports Cup.

“I am as hungry as ever. It is ingrained in your DNA,” Baxter beamed.

“You are either a football man or you’re not, and I have these football genes. I love it and I love seeing the players doing well.

“I try and drive them on to be as successful as they can, and then try and step away from it and let them enjoy the praise and accolades.

“We don’t want to leave it another 18 years to win the title.

“For me, there are cycles in football. When I played here we won it with a very good side under Roy Walker in 1995.

“We finished second the following season and then won the title again the next year. Roy had a couple of top seasons, and I feel that’s where we are at again.

“To win the league was the one we needed to do. Now we need to keep everyone focused.”