Leigh have appointed John Duffy as the club’s new head coach.
The joint Scotland coach heads a new-look coaching team at Leigh Sports Village with Paul Anderson continuing his role as assistant coach while Micky Higham will continue his illustrious playing career combined with the role of conditioner.
Duffy was released from his role as Featherstone Rovers boss earlier this week and has now joined Leigh. The 38-year-old has will take over as coach of the Centurions immediately.
Centurions’ owner Derek Beaumont said: “I am delighted to get John on board and continue with a home-grown coach which we had with Kieron (Purtill).
“I would at this time like to thank Kieron for his efforts at the club in what were extremely difficult circumstances for him. He was gallant and professional throughout and worked towards the end under almost impossible conditions such was his commitment to the club. I fully understand his decision to take the Widnes job and I wish him every success in his future.
“With regards John I was very impressed with the way he has developed as a coach. I know him extremely well from his playing days. He is extremely passionate about the town and people of Leigh and if you cut him in half it would say Leigh. Despite this, as much as it choked him, his professionalism showed through steering Featherstone to victory over us for the Shield and his ability to get the most out of people was demonstrated when they beat us with 14 men prior to our injuries when we were still strong.
“John massively cares for the club, as do Ando and Micky. They are Leigh’s very own ‘Three Musketeers’ and are the ideal people to reinstate Leigh into the Club and some pride in receiving the shirt.
“I have passed over to John all the players that I had been approached about and looking at with KP, so he can quickly look to put together a competitive part-time team in a short space of time.”
Duffy said: “I had a meeting with Ando and Micky and we are all in the same boat. Once you have played for Leigh it never leaves you.
“Having them on board speaks volumes and we all have a burning desire to get the Club back to where it needs to be.
“I’d like to thank Derek and the rest of the board for giving me this opportunity. I’ve come back twice before as a player and I was especially proud of what we achieved under Derek in 2004 getting promotion to Super League. That was an outstanding experience and we want to bring back those good times.
“At the minute we are trying to rebuild the club and to do that we are going to concentrate on local players. Leigh lads who’ve played for the club before and who are coming home, Leigh lads who have always wanted to play for Leigh and lads who want to come and play for me.”
Leigh have responded to Featherstone’s press release earlier this week and have confirmed that the club is taking legal advice in respect of the release.
The Centurions have released a statement, it read: “In light of the pending advice, the Club does not believe that it is appropriate to provide a substantive response apart from putting on record that it requested, on several occasions, the alleged contract between Featherstone and John Duffy. Despite these numerous requests, this has not been provided.
“At no time did John Duffy sign a further contract with Featherstone Rovers nor did he verbally agree to remain their coach beyond the 2018 season. Further, on 20 November 2018, Featherstone terminated the original contract with him.
“Therefore, John Duffy is not contractually bound to Featherstone.
“In light of the above and having taken legal advice, the Club strongly believe that it has acted both morally and professionally throughout this matter and is delighted to confirm that today John has agreed a deal to become head coach.”