New Leigh assistant coach Micky Higham explains the highs and lows of last season, and his first impressions of coach John Duffy.
Micky Higham, assistant coach
“I think it’s well known that I wasn’t ready to retire at the end of last season.
“I felt I’d got another season in me and I wanted to carry on playing. The powers that be at the time decided differently and I got the dreaded phone call. It was disappointing to be honest but when Kieron Purtill became coach it was a no brainer for me to start playing again.
“I still had that burning desire because there’s something about Leigh that makes you want to play for this club and I couldn’t wait to come back.
“It was a difficult year. There were so many different emotions – highs and lows – especially after the way we build towards Super League.
“Over the last few weeks, everyone had been asking me what was going on and as Ando said, we were in the dark.
“It’s only been in the last week since meeting with Duffs that we’ve been able to look forward.
“But there’s something about Leigh. As a local lad there’s something that draws you to it.
“In the short time Duffs has been here, he’s rejuvenated the club. We are a long way away from where we want to be but we have got a really good togetherness already.
“The coaching side is something that’s new to me and I want to get my foot on that ladder. I’m hoping to be a bit of a sponge and get as much info as I can from John and Jay, I am learning all the time - especially on the technical side.
“I have been impressed with Duffs as a coach at both Swinton and Featherstone. He made Fev contenders and we always knew we’d be in for a battle against them. He plays a decent brand of rugby and has a good blend of youth and experience in his teams.
“There was always a togetherness in his teams that we always noticed when Leigh played them.”
Jay Duffy, coaching assistant
“Coaching with John over the last few years, we’ve always had a close eye on Leigh.
“I played a couple of games for Leigh in Super League in 2005 but I’ve not done what these guys have done.
“When I was in that environment I loved it. There was something about being at Leigh. They always had local, hard-working lads with similar backgrounds and maybe that’s something the club has gone away from in the last couple of years.
“You always hold a candle for teams you used to play with. The season finished quite negatively at Featherstone which was a shame because we had a tight group. Injuries hindered us a little bit but the lads stayed together.
“A think that Leigh is a bit like Featherstone with the fans because rugby is all they talk about. They work all week then go to the game – probably have a few
beers – and love seeing their local team.”