Stephen Baxter agrees new three-year deal with Crusaders

Stephen Baxter has been rewarded with a new long-term contract after guiding Crusaders to the Danske Bank Premiership title.

The newly-crowned champions announced on Thursday night that Baxter has signed a new three-year deal with the Seaview club.

The 49-year-old celebrated 10 years in charge back in February, before guiding the Shore Road men to their first title in 18 years.

It has been a mesmerising season for Baxter and his players who will receive the Gibson Cup after Friday’s final league game with Glenavon at Seaview.

Crusaders were relegated within weeks of Baxter’s arrival back in 2005.

But since then it has been a meteoric rise through the ranks for the north Belfast club. They secured a trophy treble during that relegated season.

And since returning to the Premiership in 2006 the Crues have won every domestic honour available, including the Irish Cup, League Cup, County Antrim Shield, the all-Ireland Setanta Cup and now the Premiership.

Proud club chairman Stephen Bell said: “Stephen has been a pleasure to work with.

“His professionalism both on and off the pitch has been immense and it is no coincidence we are now where we are under his managership.

“It is wonderful he has signed for another three years but it is my hope and well as everyone else he is still here in another thirteen years time and still producing trophies for us all to celebrate.”