A KEY figure has agreed to remain with the North Wales Crusaders next season.

All-time leading try-scorer Rob Massam has signed a new deal with the club ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Massam and Tommy Johnson are now the only originals left in Crusaders’ squad, having joined the club ahead of their debut season back in 2012.

The winger, who had little rugby league experience before his move to North Wales, has an astonishing record for the club, crossing for 140 tries in 152 appearances.

Aside from a short spell with Rochdale Hornets in the Championship, Massam has been with the club since day one and even went on to represent Wales at first-team level earlier in his career.

On his new deal, Massam said: “It’ll be great to have some momentum after what we did last season.

“When you look back to when we were first formed, we shot up to the Championship very quickly and I probably appreciate what we achieved a lot more now.

“I’ve really enjoyed seeing the club going through what we have and getting to where we are now.

“I just enjoy playing and being involved with Crusaders and I’ll keep on re-signing until I need to hang up by boots or they kick me out.

“There’s only a few of us left from the start and, if we have to retire at any point, we know there’s loads of depth here with a young, talented squad."

The 2021 campaign was a memorable one for the Crusaders and Massam.

He crossed for 22 tries as the Crusaders finished third in League 1, securing a spot in the end-of-season play-offs.

“Last season, we got beaten heavily Doncaster and then ended up finishing in the play-offs so it was a great story," added Massam, who scooped the League 1 player of the season accolade.

“It’s really important we keep the heart of our squad and, if it isn’t broken, you definitely don’t fix it.

“There’s a lot of belief at the club and we need to be striving to keep on moving up the table.

“When we left the Racecourse a couple of years ago, there wasn’t a lot we could do about it and that was nobody’s fault.

“Playing in Colwyn Bay has brought more professionalism and the fact is your environment dictates everything.

“If the players feel like they’re playing at a professional level in a professional environment, it’ll show in the performances, work out better for everyone and I think we’ve seen that last year.”

Crusaders' head coach Anthony Murray said: “For us to keep hold of the League 1 player of the year, it shows we’re doing something right.

“I know how much he enjoys and wants to play for North Wales and he’s now got so much experience at this level.

“Rob’s just a really good professional and brings a lot to the club.

“He’s the type of player we need to keep at North Wales and I hope he’ll keep progressing and helping the younger players in our squad.”