OLIVER Holmes is confident Leigh Leopards can achieve a best ever Super League finish next season.

But after spending 12 months at the wrong end of the table with predicted big hitters Warrington last season, Holmes is taking nothing for granted.

In their former life as Centurions, Leigh finished bottom twice and second bottom once in their three previous terms in the top flight.

The jeopardy of relegation has been removed in favour of a new grading system as part of the sport’s major overhaul.

But since achieving promotion last month the club has consistently stated an ambition to challenge the elite rather than become competition makeweights.

“With the squad that has been assembled we have the capability to do so,” said Holmes who joined Leigh with still two-years left on his Warrington contract.

“But we thought that last year at Warrington. Going into last season, we set our targets on winning trophies and we were far from that.

“It was a big surprise how last season played out and a surprise on top of that that things didn’t work out for me at Warrington and I had to move.

“So, sometimes certain things don’t pan out. There are a lot more factors in a successful team than just having the squad.

“However, from everything I have heard from Chris Chester and Adrian Lam and what they are planning on doing at Leigh, it looks like it should work.”

Holmes, 30, who has achieved representative honours with England and England Knights, has mixed feelings about the impending changes to the game.

“I can see pros and cons, “ he told Journal Sport. “The game is at a crossroads where it needs clubs to update and improve facilities and infrastructure for the sport to be successful in the long term.

“So, it is a good idea to give clubs more security to invest in the likes of Academies, women’s teams, PDRL, Wheelchair and LDRL without the worries of financial loss of relegation.

“But from supporters’ points of views of dead games at the back end of the year, I can understand it.

“As a player though, there should be no such thing as a dead game. Every game counts on personal pride and playing for the club and the fans.

“So, there is a mix of pros and cons in there.”

Ex Castleford favourite Holmes, who underwent minor knee surgery in the close season, returns to training on Monday.

“I want to be as consistent and as successful as possible,” he explained. “The team comes first; everything you do should be for your team mates. Personal success comes on the back of that.

“I want to earn the rest of the players’ respect and trust. If I can prove that and I am a useful tool to the team and the club, that is success in my eyes.”