PLAYER-COACH Carl Forster is looking forward to another season at the helm of North Wales Crusaders.

Forster, who guided the side to the grand final of this season's League 1 play-offs, has committed himself to the Crusaders for the 2024 campaign.

In an up-and-down campaign, which saw Cru defeated in the opening seven matches of the year, Forster oversaw a brilliant recovery as his side won three consecutive games away from home.

This booked a play-off final at Doncaster, where battling Crusaders lost out 18-6 in their efforts to gain promotion to the Championship.

Forster told the club's website: "I'm made up to be staying at Crusaders for next season.

"Hard work is well underway to get a structured pre-season and a well balance squad for 2024.

"I've loved my time so far at Cru and I genuinely believe we are building something special here and I fully want to be a small part of that.

"Making the final last season is something, as a club, we need to build on and I believe we can have a successful season yet again.

"Personally, I'd like to thank all the Cru fans who did it real tough last season and hopefully we can repay you with more good wins on the road and finally play in front of you at home.

"See you in 2024."

A key player has also agreed to remain with the Colwyn Bay-based club moving forward.

Crusaders have secured the services of Owain Abel for the 2024 season.

Abel was a standout figure as North Wales eventually made sure of a top-six finish in League 1 to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

Injury appeared set to see him miss out in the post-season contests, but he was back for the brilliant 25-18 success in the semi-final at Hunslet, who had finished the regular campaign as the runners-up.

Abel made 17 appearances over the course of the 2023 campaign, scoring nine tries, two goals and one drop goal, the latter coming in that stand-out success at Hunslet.

He claimed the supporters' player of the year accolade during the club's end-of-season awards.

Forster said: “Really happy to keep Owain with us, he showed what ability he has last season and we’re hoping he can build on his first semi pro season.

"He’s a natural leader in the group and a big personality in the changing rooms so we are all delighted to keep him.”