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Young Centurions look to strengthen
LEIGH Centurions Under 20s boss Paul Anderson has been quietly going about his business assembling the next squad that he hopes will take the club forward.
After seeing three of his team earn first-team deals on the back of performances for his side, Anderson is looking at further progression.
“I know there is going to be a bit more competition next year with the players that the first team have signed but I think there are still a few openings for a couple of players,” he said.
“We’ve kept the majority of the squad from last year. Aaron Lloyd has gone to Barrow - he would be too old for the team next season and it’s a good move for him.
“There is an obvious link up there with Anthony (Murray), a former team-mate of mine.”
Returning in 2014 will be Josh Ward who has shelved plans to follow Mitchell Cox to Thirroul Butchers in Australia.
“Josh went really well for us last year. He’s that little bit older and little bit wiser than he was and hopefully he will progress a bit more,” Anderson said.
His half-back partner Matt Pendlebury also enjoyed a consistent 2013 which did not go unnoticed at the club, with a deal signed that could see him step up to first team.
“Matt also went really well and this was a reward for those performances and hard work,” said Anderson.
Second row Chris Rowe has also agreed a new deal, while Leon Tatlock also returns.
“It’s a long-term work in progress because most of the lads that we have signed are kids. We could actually run an under-19s team,” said Anderson.
New players coming in include Nicky Ratcliffe, Josh Adudwama, Jake Waterworth, Matt Wilkinson, Frankie Halton, Deacon Monks and Mike Scrivens.
Anderson added: “Jordan Houghton returns after playing for Widnes last season. We’ve added Lewis Foster, a hooker from St Helens. He’s not very big but he’s really quick and has got a good kicking game.
“Chris Hankinson has joined us from Salford. Chris played loose forward against us and is a really good player.
“I was surprised they let him go. He wanted to come to Leigh and push for a place in the first-team squad.
“We’ve also brought in Sam Baggaley, a centre from Wigan, he’s only 18 and wants to come and prove himself.
“At Leigh we want to develop people as well as players, it’s something we speak a lot about.”
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