Rowley backs Centurions coaching team

Neil Jukes, assistant coach, Leigh Centurions
Neil Jukes, assistant coach, Leigh Centurions
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LEIGH Centurions coach Paul Rowley is more than happy to stick with the same top level coaching set up for the 2013 campaign.

“We all worked well together in 2012 and I see no reason too change anything,” said Rowley. “The only changes I am making are at U23s level where John Duffy now becomes assistant to Paul Anderson following his retirement as a player.”

That means that Rowley will continue with former Leigh player Neil Jukes as his first team assistant and Nathan Penington as conditioner.

“Most people know about Neil and what a good job he does,” added Rowley. “We have worked together for a number of years and understand each other very well. He’s great with the players too. But Nathan has been a bit of an unsung hero for me.

“He joined the club during Ian Millward’s second season when he worked with me as conditioner.

“But once I was put in charge I had no hesitation in giving him the reins and he has been superb ever since. He really gets the players fit but is also very up to speed with all the science that sits behind it.

“But what is more is that he gets the players to understand too, and the results were there for all to see last season, when time and again our fitness pulled us through in our toughest of games. Nathan is little known to the fans but he is a vital key to our success.”

Outside of the first team, it is Anderson and Duffy who will be steering the U23s whilst the Scholarship coaches will be Martin Ellis, Tim Hartley and Simon Knox.

“The U18s will see Stuart Littler and Bob Beswick combining first team playing with developing the young stars of the future,” said Rowley.

“All things considered I am very pleased with the set up we have and the personnel involved. We will all be working hard to bring success and silverware to the club next season.”

To that end, the players were back in training last week when Rowley was glad to see there were no surprises.

“Everyone turned up ready and raring to go,” he said. “We did a couple of video sessions, gave the players their weight programmes and set about preparing for what lies ahead.

“It’s vitally important that we get this pre-season right so that will have a strong core fitness to get us through the tough season that lies ahead.

“We have those two games against Salford on December 30 and then Wigan the following week, to give us an idea of what more work we need to do, and then we will play a Championship side. I haven’t clarified who as yet but we will be contacting Swinton among others.

“Another key part of our back room staff is Cliff Sumner and he will be with us again this year collecting and collating all our stats.

“They are a vital part of a modern coach’s armoury, and if used correctly can certainly give your players an edge when taking on the opposition. So I’m delighted Cliff is with us again.

“It is important that we have the right back room and coaching staff if we want to win and win well enough to secure a place in super league. But we have a lot of work to do. Thankfully everybody is already fired up to do even better in 2013 than we did this year.”

+ LEIGH will launch their new 2013 home and away kits at the Centurions Retail Unit in Leigh Market on November 30 at 2pm.