New role for Duffy

John Duffy of Leigh Centurions
John Duffy of Leigh Centurions

Leigh Centurions have started their planning for the 2013 season by re-appointing Neil Jukes as assistant coach to Paul Rowley, and bringing the retired John Duffy into the coaching fold.

“It’s important we get the right backroom staff to take us forward for next season,” said Rowley.

“I brought Neil into the club when Neil Kelly was head coach, and he has worked closely with Neil, Ian Millward and in particular myself throughout that period. I feel it is a combination that works well.

“Neil gets through a great deal of work as my assistant, and it’s great he is prepared to commit himself to next season, when we both feel we can really build on what we have done this year.”

Rowley was also keen to explain the role the ever-popular Duffy will fulfil.

He said: “John has been a tremendous servant to the club in three spells as a player.

“He works especially well with the younger players, who all look up to him for what he has achieved on the field, his natural skills and his sense of humour and knowledge.

“He will work with our younger players to develop them and bring them on, while being part of the overall coaching setup.

“He also works well in the schools on the development side, and is too valuable an asset for the club to lose just because he has decided to hang up his boots.”

The players are currently taking a well-earned rest before returning for pre-season training on November 5.

However, work continues for Championship Coach of the Year Rowley and his team.

He added: “We will be keeping an eye on which players may be available for dual registration, and also identifying those that we would wish to have in our squad.

“It’s important they mix well with us and at the same time bring something to the side in such a manner that they strengthen areas where we may be a little short on cover.

“But it is far too early to say who they may be. We will leave that until early next year, when the Super League clubs have a better idea themselves who they want to put up for such a move.

“With regard to our current squad, I have offered James Taylor a new contract and hopefully he will accept it. James has a testimonial at the club in 2014, and we are keen to help him achieve that.”

Friday is the club’s awards night when the season’s efforts will be rewarded.

LEIGH MP Andy Burnham is urging people to add their name to growing call for return of promotion and relegation in rugby league.

Mr Burnham has issued a final call for people to add their names to his open letter to the Rugby Football League.

The Leigh MP is set to present his open letter at next week’s Super League Grand Final.

It will close to new signatures on Friday, October 5 and the Leigh Centurions
vice-president is hoping more people will join the campaign in the final week.

Launched in the summer, the open letter to the new RFL chairman – hosted at www.andyburnham.net – has already attracted more than 900 signatories.

In response to the launch of the open letter, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has announced that it will consider reintroducing automatic promotion
and relegation as part of a review ordered by then acting chairman Maurice Watkins.