GOAL-KICKING WINGER Kirk Dixon has signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at Mend-A-Hose Jungle until the end of 2015.
The new deal will see Dixon play on into his ninth season with Castleford Tigers, having joined the club ahead of the 2007 National League One championship-winning campaign, when he went on to become leading try scorer with 23 touchdowns.
Dixon has become a mainstay of Tigers’ side and last year scored 11 tries in 21 Super League appearances, including four in a 49-24 win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at the Magic Weekend, equalling the club record for most touchdowns in a Super League match.
The Hull-born 29-year-old has scored 80 tries and 336 goals – a total of 992 points – in 163 games for Tigers and said extending his contract was a “no-brainer”.
He revealed: “I sat down with Daryl (coach Daryl Powell) during the pre-season campaign and he said he would like to keep me and I was more than happy to stay.
“We’ve been able to get the deal sorted and I’m just looking forward to getting the season started.
“Daryl said he likes what I do and I’ve been here for a while now and from my point of view you can see that things are progressing and moving forwards, so it was a pretty simple decision.”
Dixon added: “We’re starting to get some good combinations out on the field and it’s a pleasure to be in the side, so although it sounds like an old cliché it was a no-brainer for me.
“It’s got a real family atmosphere down here, the office staff mingles with the players and the players mingle with the fans. It’s fantastic for me and playing in front of the Tigers fans is a special thing and something that I didn’t want to leave.”
Powell feels Dixon’s best years are still ahead of him.
He said: “I am delighted Kirk has agreed to extend his contract with the Tigers.
“He is a pleasure to coach and works as hard, if not harder, than anyone on his individual game which makes him a role model for young players to aspire towards. His game has been excellent in my time at the club and I am looking forward to an outstanding season from him.”
It has been a good week for Dixon – who began his career at Hull, from 2004-2006 – after bus company Arriva Yorkshire signed up as his personal sponsor for the season.
Arriva’s regional managing director Nigel Featham said: “Working in partnership with Castleford Tigers is a perfect fit for us, with both our companies aiming to grow and have a successful year. Many of our Castleford depot team are Cas and proud and will be cheering on Kirk and the boys.”
Former Leeds Rhinos centre Ashley Gibson, meanwhile, will miss Sunday’s Super League opener at Bradford Bulls.
He has been ruled out for around four weeks after suffering a medial knee injury in last Saturday’s pre-season defeat at Dewsbury Rams.