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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Wath Brow ace Karl Dixon must step up his game next season - coach

Teenage prodigy Karl Dixon must step up his game again next season after carrying off the amateur sport’s top individual honour.

Karl Dixon photo
Karl Dixon

That’s the advice from Wath Brow boss Ian Rooney, after his young stand-off was named National Conference League Premier Division player of the year.

Dixon was the Brow’s top try-scorer this year, crossing 14 times in 23 games, and picking up eight man of the match awards for the national amateur champions.

Rooney was delighted with his contribution but knows he will be under more of a spotlight next year.

“He will be in for more attention and has to accommodate that in to his game accordingly,” the coach said. “I’m sure he will.

“He needs the support of his team-mates and he’s the first to say that. He has a mature head on young shoulders. The hard work will only start again and he knows that.”

Dixon’s award was judged to be fully-merited by Rooney, who has seen him develop over the past season.

“It’s fantastic for the lad, and the club, and a fully-deserved accolade,” said the coach. “He has worked extremely hard on his game, and for a lad who has just turned 19, it is a tremendous achievement.

“He always had talent and we knew that, and he has come on leaps and bounds and thrived with the responsibility of playing in the halves. His footwork is fantastic, he has great speed and solid defence.”

Wath Brow also carried off the league’s Fair Play award last weekend after suffering just two sin-binnings all season.

“We obviously pride ourselves on our discipline. Good teams are not ill-disciplined,” continued Rooney, who wants to put rugby on the back-burner for a short spell after last month steering the club to their first top-flight Grand Final win.

“We won it and enjoyed it. But let’s park it, rest and not think about rugby for a while, then come back and try our best again.

“It will be even harder next time. We probably sailed under the radar for a lot of the season due to our age and changes in personnel. But now teams will be saying, the champions are in town.”

A youthful Wath Brow will be joined in the top-flight next year by promoted Egremont, the Division One champions, while Cumberland League champs Kells are switching to the national level in 2013.

“I’d like to wish Kells good luck in their new NCL venture and well done to Egremont for their achievement this year,” Rooney said.

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