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'Next step must be the Championship' - Joel Dixon's sets high targets

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

'Next step must be the Championship' - Joel Dixon's sets high targets 12740391

Joel Dixon has set his sights on helping Wanderers reach the Championship.

The goalkeeper signed a two-year deal with the Whites on Friday, ending a six-season spell with Barrow.

Two of those years were spent playing under Ian Evatt at Holker Street, where he was part of a title-winning side in the National League.

The ambitious 27-year-old, who came through the youth ranks at Sunderland, said his relationship with Evatt played a big part in deciding to leave Barrow and challenge Matt Gilks for the number one shirt at the UniBol.

“That’s how I came to move across,” he said. “I have worked with the gaffer before at Barrow and it’s everything to do with where he wants to go as well, I want to go there myself. Hopefully, us and the club will move forward.

“We won the league there with them, they came here and got promoted, so next step must be the Championship.

“The size of the club, the stature, where it has been and where it wants to get back to is perfect.”

Dixon featured in all 46 games for Barrow last season after they returned to the Football League for the first time in 48 years.

According to statistics from fbref.com, he faced 173 shots on target, a total only Crawley’s Glenn Morris (208) could surpass. He made 120 saves, bettered only by Morris (153) and Salford City’s Vaclav Hladky (127).

His save percentage of 69.4 ranked 15th in the division among players who had made 25 starts or more.

Dixon is confident he can now step up a level with Wanderers and help them succeed in a competitive division now boasting several big names.

“What we achieved at Barrow, starting there in the National League, getting promoted, then managing to stay in the league,” he told the club. “This is a new chapter and a new challenge to me.

“The teams that will be in this league next year are crazy – it’s like a Championship league.

“I’m looking forward to going and challenging myself against them.”

Wanderers also have two other senior goalkeepers in their ranks with Matt Alexander and Luke Hutchinson – who was recently handed his first professional contract – also pushing for a first team spot.

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