Alex Thompson, who recently retired from rugby league to end a five-year stay at North Wales Crusaders, has been appointed as the new head coach of the club’s A team.
After coming through the system at Super League club Warrington Wolves, the 29-year-old had a fantastic career in the semi-professional ranks, making 59 appearances for Crusaders and running out for the likes of Oldham and Oxford.
He will now pass on what he has learned over the years to the next crop of players in a coaching capacity, taking over from Mike Newton as Crusaders A boss.
Thompson said: “My aim was to go away, do a bit of coaching and then return to the club one day, but this opportunity has come around so it’s great to be back already.
“I’ve spoken to Mosey (Andy Mousldale) and Muzza (Anthony Murray), as well as David Anderson and Alison Neale from Crusaders A, and they’re all looking forward to it.
“I’m still going to be involved with the first-team so I’ll be able to take what I learn from Muzza into my coaching with the A team.
“It’s a really good place for me to be starting and I want to make sure there’s a player pathway in place.
“I want to keep all of the players who are there already, bring back players who might’ve left and also introduce some new players myself.
“As I was playing only last year, I’m hoping the transition over to coaching will be easier as I’ll still be fresh.
“I’ve always been interested in the coaching side of things so it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“I want us to have a solid season in 2020 and push to gain promotion.”
Crusaders director David Anderson, who works closely with the A team, added: “We’re really pleased to have Alex leading the A team in 2020.
“We’d like to thank Mike Newton and the other staff who are leaving as they have played a big part in the team’s progression.
“Alex has plenty of experience in rugby league and will no doubt be able to pass his knowledge on to the A team players.
“We’re excited to see what the future holds for the A team as we aim to kick on in 2020.”
Pre-season for the 2020 campaign will begin in November and continue through the winters months. If you’re interested in getting involved with the A team, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.