Send us news by text, start your message Leigh News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Parker makes case for the defence
7:20am Friday 8th February 2013 in Sport
NEW skipper Rob Parker is convinced that Leigh have ‘recruited well’ in the close season but says that a strong defence will be the key to having a successful season in the Championship.
The veteran front row forward has established himself as one of the top grunt men in the Championship at his hometown club Leigh and boasts a wealth of Super League experience with Bradford, Warrington and Salford.
That experience will be invaluable in his new roles of club captain and business manager, but Parker’s main focus is on helping the Centurions to progress out on the field and improve on last season, when they made the semi-finals of the Northern Rail Cup, the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup and exited the Championship play-offs at the final eliminator stage having finishing second in the league.
The 32-year-old said: “The wheels fell off towards the back end of last year with injuries and such, so we are looking to just get out there again to do what we do best. We know what we need to improve on.
“Our squad wasn’t the biggest last year, but we have recruited well.
“And the lads have trained really well (in pre-season), which is a credit to not only themselves but to the coaches. I’ve been around the block for a few years now, and I don’t know if it feels tougher as I’m getting older but it was certainly a very tough pre-season!
“Every man showed up and put the effort in.”
Solid defence has always been one of Parker’s main attributes, and he says that cutting down on the number of tries conceded is a key goal for the Centurions in 2013.
“We have been focusing on our defensive efforts, because defence wins matches and is the sign of a well-drilled team,” Parker said.
“Anyone can have that individual flair, and we know we can score points when we need to. But if we can master the defence as a team then results should take care of themselves.”
No nonsense forward Parker’s appointment as skipper represents a change of tact for the club, with the previous armband holders being big name flair players John Duffy and Robbie Paul.
But Parker is well respected within the game and highly intelligent and his appointment as Leigh’s new business manager came as little surprise to those who know him well.
He said: “My wife and children are as excited about this new role as business manager as I am.
“I am a Leigh lad and after several years in Super League I have rekindled my love of the game with Leigh Centurions. Our club has some fantastic potential and I want to play my part in getting it into Super League, which is what our ground was built for.
“Through my connections, I hope to attract more money into the club and make it even more sustainable.
“If you have any ideas or wish to speak to me about commercial sponsorship or events, please email me on email@example.com.”
In his new off-field role, which he started on Monday, Parker will work alongside the commercial team within the club and Leigh Sports Village to improve sponsorship, ticket sales, events and community relationships with the aim of attracting further revenue, supporters and sponsorship for Leigh Centurions.
Club director John Roddy said: “Our 2013 campaign has commenced and we are delighted that Rob has accepted our offer to work with us commercially to further enhance our brand and revenues for the club.
“Rob was an outstanding candidate during the interview process and demonstrated a strong passion and capability to meet the challenges of his new role.
“We are very confident that Rob’s excellent relationship with the team and our supporters will transfer extremely well into his new commercial responsibilities and will assist us very well indeed.
“Rob has clear views on how we can increase support and sponsorship, and we look forward to working with him to achieve our club’s and his personal ambitions for the future.”