Send us news by text, start your message Leigh News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Rowley convinced a good season still lies in wait
3:03pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in Sport
LEIGH'S 2013 campaign may have begun in disappointing fashion on Sunday but head coach Paul Rowley is convinced that a ‘good’ season lies in wait.
The Centurions went down 38-6 in their Championship opener at Featherstone, who were the only side to finish above Leigh last season before both sides faltered in the play-offs (Featherstone were beaten in the Grand Final and Leigh went out at the final eliminator stage).
But Rowley (pictured) is ‘very happy’ with how his close season recruitment went – bringing in Simon Finnigan, Martin Aspinwall, Thomas Coyle, Sean Penkywicz, Ryan Duffy and Adam Higson – and is challenging his ‘strong’ squad to challenge for every trophy going, just like they did last year.
As well as finishing second in the league, Leigh reached the semi-finals of the Northern Rail Cup and the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup in 2012 – and Rowley is hopeful of similar success this season.
He said: “Our aim is to be consistent, and to challenge our opponents week in, week out. I don’t want to put undue pressure on the squad by setting them targets that we must win this trophy or anything like that, but I want us to be consistent, and challenge in every competition.
“I’m very happy with our recruitment this year. I think we have a strong squad, and I’m really pleased with the progress we made over the close season.
“Our squad is quite small, however, and due to rule changes regarding dual contract players this year we won’t be able to call on those as we have previously. So strength in depth may be a bit of a challenge for us this year, but we’ll deal with it.
“After losing the likes of John Duffy, who was a talisman, our team is going to take a new direction and we are looking towards new generals on the field. Thomas Coyle, Ryan Brierley and Martyn Ridyard will have to step to the fore.
“It’s exciting and very much work in progress. I never expected everything to be on fire from minute one; I expect it to be a season where we build to something good.”