John Duffy determined to keep Leigh in Super League for long run

Drew Darbyshire

Leigh coach John Duffy says it his personal goal to keep the club in Super League for a long time.

On Monday, it was confirmed that the Centurions would become Super League’s 12th club for 2021 after fighting off competition from York, London, Bradford, Featherstone and Toulouse for the vacant spot that was left by Toronto.

Leigh have been in Super League twice before (2005 and 2017) but suffered relegation in the same season on both occasions – but Duffy is determined to keep Leigh in the top flight for the long run.

He said: “It is an unbelievable feeling. It is a bit surreal at the minute, it hasn’t properly sunk in yet but I’m just happy for everyone at the club and everyone behind the scenes who have done all the hard work with the bid. Derek, his wife Laura, Neil (Jukes), the board and the community trust as well.

“It has been a long process and a very detailed one and I’m glad that we’ve come through with the 12th place.

“It is a personal goal of mine as a coach to keep the club in Super League.

“I was part of the first Super League team that went up and came back down, it was a very sad day and it happened again a couple of years ago so we are very determined to keep this club in Super League.

“Personally for me being a young coach, I just can’t wait and it is mouthwatering and I’m really looking forward to it. It is going to be a massive challenge for the club as a whole but we want to keep this club in Super League where it belongs.”

Duffy also praised the efforts of the club’s owner Derek Beaumont in their bid for Super League – and was delighted for the town of Leigh.

Duffy added: “He’s (Derek) ecstatic. He always puts his money where his mouth is and I think he’s superb for the game as well.

“It is a rugby league town. There is not much football – it is rugby, rugby, rugby.

“It means everything to the people of the town – Sunday afternoons, Friday nights or Saturdays – everybody comes out and watches Leigh and with the nine months we’ve had off, this is just mouthwatering for everyone involved. I’m so happy for the fans.”

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