Kieron Purtill has been appointed head coach of Leigh Centurions.
The former Leigh captain has been acting as caretaker coach since Neil Jukes resigned early in the season and has guided Leigh to 11 straight wins games including last Saturday’s Betfred Championship 42-20 defeat of Featherstone Rovers.
Purtill said: “I’d like to thank Derek Beaumont for giving me this opportunity as it is a huge honour to coach Leigh Centurions and one that means a lot to me on a personal basis.
“We have worked hard as a group and I am really pleased for the players and staff as my appointment is recognition of their efforts.
“I’d also like to thank the fans for their tremendous backing which means so much to us all.
“We all are aware that we are nowhere near where we need to be but we will continue to do our utmost to continue the progress we have made with the ambition of taking our Club back into Super League.”
Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: “It has been a very difficult time at the club with the start we had and it has certainly tested my resolve. There is still a long way to go but I feel it is an appropriate time to make it known that I have no intentions of appointing a coach other than confirming Kieron Purtill in the role.
“I haven’t been actively seeking a coach for some time as I have been satisfied with Kieron’s performance and the feedback I have received from the senior players alongside the results on the pitch. I sat down with Kieron after Neil’s departure and told him it was a results driven business and he would be given a fair chance at it."
“I did go to market for a proven, experienced coach but deep inside I knew it was just a name and that Kieron was up to the job. When Paul Rowley left I had no idea it was coming or had been pre planned so when I spoke to the players after I had allowed him to in private I was greeted with a text from Kieron pledging an interest in the job stating ‘I would love nothing more than to coach my home town club.’