Leigh Centurions will complete their three match pre-season preparation with a home clash against Swinton Lions on Friday January 25.
“It will be our final preparation and we will be at full strength for that game ahead of the Championship kick off the following week at Featherstone Rovers,” said Centurions coach Paul Rowley.
“With the game against Salford City Reds on December 30 and then the one against Wigan on January 6, I feel we have a really testing set of pre-season matches that will be the ideal preparation for the tough season that lies ahead.
“Swinton will be a tough work-out and they too have been strengthening for a strong campaign in 2013. By then we will have our loan players sorted out and they will feature too as we look to get the cobwebs out and be ready to come out of the blocks for the League season.”
Leigh have decided not to sign up with a Super League club and that denies them the opportunity to take on board dual-registered players. But Rowley is not concerned about that.
“This season clubs have to have a partnership agreement to enable dual-registered players to be signed,” he explained,
“But we have opted to remain independent. That won’t affect our relationship with Wigan, which is first class, and which will see us sign players’ on-loan for the season. We have ambitions for Super League of our own and we feel that not being part of a partnership will enable us to better further those ambitions.”
Meanwhile the Centurions have been working hard on building relationships and players for the future with a hugely successful trial day for players of 15 and 16 years of age.
“We held a trial day for players who would be part of our Jet Player Pathway scheme,” added Rowley.
”In total there were some 70 odd players and the standard was exceptional. It just goes to show how much talent there is in the town and we were absolutely delighted with the attendees.
“We worked closely with our community clubs and I think it is fair to say that relationships between the Centurions and Leigh Miners and Leigh East in particular has never been better. We worked on this with both clubs and those players who will be taken forward for the Jet scheme will attend training once a week on nights when they are not required by their amateur clubs.
“We want to ensure that we do not over stress the players at the same time as working with them to give them additional coaching and development advice. We will be naming a squad of 30 players, but will continue to watch the development of all of those who attended by working closely with their club coaches.
“We have always said Leigh is a real hot bed of rugby league talent and once again this has been confirmed. We are looking forward to taking these young players upwards and onwards along the development pathway so that they will hopefully be an integral part of Leigh’s Super League future,”
l The 2013 Co-operative Championship home fixture with Sheffield Eagles will now be played on Friday March 8 with a 7.30pm kick off.