Leigh coach Adrian Lam was an incredibly proud man after his side clinched promotion to Super League by defeating Batley in the Championship Grand Final.
The Centurions eased past the Bulldogs 44-12 at the Leigh Sports Village on Sunday evening, with a crowd of more than 7,000 in attendance.
Leigh have completed the treble, having won the 1895 Cup, League Leaders’ Shield and the Grand Final this year.
Here’s everything Adrian Lam had to say after the game…
I’m really proud of the town. We’ve been through some really difficult times at Leigh over the last couple of years so to win it and get promoted through the success of winning is a little bit different but also very gratifying. This is what the town needs and hopefully it can bring us all together as sport does. I can finally say we are going up and we’ll need the fans here in our Super League matches.
Goals for 2023
Everyone has said the words ‘let’s stay up’ but I’m not about that. I didn’t come here to ‘just stay up’. We are heavily invested financially. We have got an owner (Derek Beaumont) who is a little bit crazy but is very, very passionate about what he does and I love that about him. I’ve got to understand Derek Beaumont a bit better this year. His heart is in the right place and without people like him, rugby league doesn’t exist.
We had seven players
The hard work has already begun. The hard work started last September when we had seven players. We didn’t have a pre-season with all these players because we recruited half of them as the season went on. We are into the part now where it becomes ‘no excuse time’ and where we work harder for each other and stick together. I’ve been there and done that as a coach and a player and I know what it takes to be competing every week and being successful.
Reshuffling the squad
There will be a bit of a re-shuffle between some of the players because obviously we can’t keep the quota positions that we have. It has been an incredible challenge this year for me personally and the staff on how we try to prepare for Super League, retain all your best players and recruit players that aren’t guaranteed a Super League contract when you are talking Super League money. For me personally, I don’t think this works in my opinion and that’s me being political. It’s too hard to prepare to go up into Super League. That’s why so many teams go up and then back down, because you don’t have the opportunity to build. We’ve tried to manage the process as we’ve gone along and it has been a really difficult one but I’ve loved every moment of it, so I can’t complain.
I can’t really go into the numbers because people will work out what we’ve got to do. Some of the players aren’t contracted yet so I can’t go into that officially but we’ve got to get down to seven. We’ve got double figures of import players.
Lachlan Lam off quota
We’re very confident. Lokie has done his three years here as a junior (at Wigan St Pats). Thank goodness we signed him up as a player when I first came here! That is going to work for us so that’ll be helpful for us. I don’t want to let go of anyone. They are all quality players and I love them all. They’ve bought into what we are about.
Best Championship team ever? Adrian Lam believes so
I said to the team the other day that as a club we’ve gained respect through the rugby league community, not only here, but throughout the country. We’ve got some respect back from people who doubted us or questioned us. It will always be there but this year, the statistics show that we are potentially the best team there has ever been in the Championship. We’ve scored more points than any team. There are so many stats this year that really back it up.
We couldn’t really control that. What we could control is winning this year. Now that those rules have come out, we are grateful that we won but all we could do is stay in our bubble and stay in control of what we could. Winning the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup was a first for the club and then doing the three-peat is unbelievable.
Kangaroos camp soon for Adrian Lam
We’ve got a few days off and then into camp with Australia on Friday. I’m looking forward to it, I love it when we go into camp. They are such a good bunch of boys but I don’t want to leave this just yet. We’ll just enjoy this because the town needs it first and foremost. I love seeing kids around with Leigh jerseys on because that hasn’t been around for a long time so we’ve just got to try and rebuild the whole area to help us get back to the top of Super League.