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Welsh club the Celtic Crusaders have further developed their playing squad with 11 new signings in preparation for the 2007 season. Bankrolled by wealthy businessman Leighton Samuel, the Bridgend based club hope fresh playing talent will enable them to gain promotion into National League 1.
The Crusaders have signed former Canberra Raider Terry Martin and former Brisbane Bronco Darren Mapp, as well as aquiring Neil Budworth from the Harlequins. In keeping with their policy of nurturing the local game, they have also signed three Welsh Under 19s internationals in Tom Burnell, Owen Lewis and Chris Vitalini.
While these new signings have boosted the hopes of success for the Crusaders this year, some have questioned how the club was able to fit their new talent under the 200,000 pound NL2 salary cap.
The Celtic front office is also kicking goals with the announcement of the clubs new jersey sponsor in Redrow Homes. This comes on the back of the announcement last year that the Brisbane Broncos will play a trial game against the Crusaders on the 15th of February. Ticket sales are apparently strong for the clash, ensuring the club a tidy profit.
Time is fast running out for the Crusaders who last year established a plan to gain entry into Superleague by 2008. The team missed out on promotion by only one point last season and have since adjusted their plan to hopefully join Europe