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Reds match is still on
LEIGH Centurions’ clash with Salford City Reds on December 30 will go ahead as scheduled.
The current furore over Salford’s future as they battle to attract investment had raised doubts of the friendly going ahead.
But conversations with bosses of their 2008 Championship promotion rivals have brought welcome relief, with Leigh also needing income and head coach Paul Rowley wanting to give the bulk of his new-look squad a run out.
Rowley said: “We had initial concerns, looking from the outside in, about whether they could fulfil their fixture or not.
“I am aware that they have been training very hard. I’ve phoned Phil Veivers and also spoken with Steve Simms and they have both assured me that the game is set to go ahead.”
Happenings down the East Lancashire Road also bring into focus Leigh’s own battles as they continue their own road to recovery.
“This game would guarantee revenue for the club,” said Rowley.
“It has been a tough period and although we are working very hard and everything looks pretty, we are still in that position where every penny counts.
“That is why it is important that we get good gates at these games and the supporters get behind us.
“We’ve still had bills to pay with no income other than season ticket sales.”
The new season will see the return of squad numbers to the Co-operative Championship and Northern Rail Cup.
Leigh have revealed an initial 23-man squad.
Gregg McNally has earned the number one shirt after an excellent 2012 season, while Jonny Pownall and Ryan Brierley have been rewarded with 5 and 7 respectively.
Martyn Ridyard claims the number 6 jumper, with Sam Hopkins being named as number 8.
New signing Simon Finnigan is at 11 with the experienced Tommy Goulden, 12, while Martin Aspinwall will wear 13.
At Halifax Bob Beswick and Sean Penkywicz battled for the number 9 jumper and it is Beswick who claims it for 2013 with Penkywicz settling for 14.
Centurions’ other new signings for next season have also been given numbers - Thomas Coyle 17, Ryan Duffy 21, Adam Higson 22 and youngster Chris Rowe returns from a development year with Wigan to claim 23.
Rowley said: “There are no magic formulas but some clear giveaways and indications as to positional choices.
“There is also some priority handed to experience and loyalty in some circumstances.
“That said, all in all it is a clean sheet for everyone.
“It is always a tricky one with squad numbers because in some ways you are giving a bit away.
“But, when you have the likes of Michael Ostick at 19 and Jimmy Taylor at 20, they could quite easily be 8 and 10.
“I have explained this to everyone and there are no dramas.”
Squad numbers: 1 Gregg McNally, 2 Steve Maden, 3 Stuart Littler, 4 Mat Gardner, 5 Jon Pownall, 6 Martyn Ridyard, 7 Ryan Brierley, 8 Sam Hopkins, 9 Bob Beswick, 10 Rob Parker, 11 Simon Finnigan, 12 Tommy Goulden, 13 Martin Aspinwall, 14 Sean Penkywicz, 15 Andy Thornley, 16 Craig Briscoe, 17 Thomas Coyle, 18 Anthony Nicholson, 19 Michael Ostick, 20 James Taylor, 21 Ryan Duffy, 22 Adam Higson, 23 Chris Rowe