DON Dickson admits he was close to walking away from rugby league this year.
However, the 28-year-old will attempt to put the season from hell behind him when he runs out for the Evans Head Bombers in 2012.
Dickson captain-coached the Ballina Seagulls last season and had high hopes for the team after they made the 2010 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final.
However, the Seagulls were a shell of their former selves and struggled to get players to training and games last season.
"I felt like my time at Ballina was up," Dickson said.
"I have no hard feelings towards anyone, but I thought it would be best if I wasn't there.
"A lot of people would have walked away sooner than what I did.
"I won't have to be a captain or a coach at Evans Head, so I can concentrate on my own game now and I think it will show on the paddock."
Dickson has just returned from an overseas holiday and had the option to stay there for work, but decided to commit to another season first.
He hopes the Bombers can continue to improve after making their first finals appearance last year since entering the NRRRL competition in 2009.
Another factor that lured him to the club was the similarity between the Bombers and his junior club and team that he won a grand final with in 2010 the Grafton Ghosts.
Whether he plays lock or moves into the vacant five-eighth position remains a mystery.
"I'm not concerned with where they put me, I've played with (halfback) Ryan Eckersley before and we could be a good combination," Dickson said.
"They have some influential people at the club and everything seems to be going in the right direction.
"The supporters travel to away games and the culture reminds me of what Grafton was like."
Dickson has previously played reserve grade for St George Illawarra Dragons and first grade with Brisbane Easts.
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