IT is all systems go at Leigh Centurions after pulling off a sensational return to Super League in 2021.

On Monday the club beat five Championship rivals in a bidding process to replace Toronto Wolfpack, following their demise, in next year’s competition.

Now the aim is to achieve what they have failed to do before in the Super League era – stay with the big guns like Wigan, St Helens and Warrington in the top flight beyond one season.

Club owner Derek Beaumont wants to build on the town’s ‘great’ response to the expert panel’s decision to promote Leigh.

Since Monday’s announcement, hard business planning has come to the fore; next year’s kits – with sold-out sponsorship – have gone on sale, as have season tickets, while staff recruitment adverts have been published.

There has been instant demand for matchday hospitality at Leigh Sports Village and the club’s chiefs, who promise to strengthen John Duffy’s existing playing squad with three to five new signings in readiness for the start in March, say there is a terrific ‘buzz’ around the town.

Beaumont, who said the club and his business are in sound financial positions for this move to happen - with all detail provided to the decision-making panel, added: “If we can get that second year of Super League and make it stick, I think it would all grow again and I do think there’s enough people in this town for that to happen. The longer we’re in Super League, the more people come and watch us and the youth comes through.

“For me, it’s never just been about having a ride in Super League. I’ve done that in 2005 and 2017.

“It’s about linking this club to the fantastic amateur clubs in this town, so that we can start seeing young players not going off to the likes of Wigan and St Helens, but coming through our pathway and structure. We weren’t allowed to have that last time we were in Super League, and that’s what I want to focus on building.

“We’ve all just spoken together as a team, with the coaches, and they all know that we’ve now got to work really hard to deliver on that and make sure that our goal of being in Super League in 2022 doesn’t change, it’s just got harder, because we’re now going to do it by competing with Super League teams not teams in the Championship.

“It’s got to be great news for the town. I’ve got 177 text messages that I’ve not looked at yet. It’s buzzing, and that will give us the confidence moving forward.

“The more season tickets that get sold and the more sponsorship that comes in, shall I say the bolder we may become with what we add to the squad and expand on the budget that I’ve currently set aside for those last few playing shirts.”

And Beaumont believes himself and the club are wiser for the past experiences in the top flight.

“I think our best success is when we’re a little bit quiet, we just work hard behind the scenes and under the radar,” he said.

“We’ve grown our relationships with the RFL to be a lot better than what they were. I think we’re perceived as a better club than we previously had been, and that’s important to me and was an important part of our whole campaign.

“People talk about what value does a club add to Super League, well we took 1,042 fans on average to other stadiums in 2017, and we took 2,800 to Wigan.

“St Helens brought 2,900 to Leigh Sports Village, we had over 9,000 fans for that game, and we averaged over 6,500 fans. We didn’t finish bottom, we beat Wigan, St Helens and Warrington, and we beat Hull away, so we added value, we’re committed and we’ve got a great facility.”