Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont has hailed current head coach Adrian Lam as the club’s most important signing in their history.
The newly promoted Super League side are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions, having secured their place in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup following the 34-14 victory over York with just 12 men.
Lam’s Leopards also currently sit third on the Super League table, just two points behind table toppers Catalans and Daryl Powell’s Warrington.
The former Wigan boss was appointed head coach at the Leigh Sports Village ahead of the 2022 Championship campaign, guiding the side to 1895 Cup glory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as well as promotion to Super League.
Leigh’s recent recruitment has been a stand-out on this side of the globe, with the likes of John Asiata, Edwin Ipape and Tom Amone making the switch ahead of 2022, while Lachlan Lam made the mid-season move that year from the Sydney Roosters.
The likes of Zak Hardaker, Ricky Leutele and Gareth O’Brien joined the club ahead of their return to the top flight, while 2022 recruit Josh Charnley currently sits at the top of the try-scorer charts with 18 alongside Catalans winger Tom Johnstone.
Owner Beaumont, who has lit up Super League upon the club’s return with eye-catching pre-match entertainment inside the LSV, was full of praise for Papua New Guinea-born coach Lam, who led Wigan to the Grand Final in 2020.
Derek Beaumont hails Adrian Lam as club’s ‘most important signing’
Speaking on the latest episode of Betfred’s The Last Tackle, Beaumont said: “For me, it’s [Adrian Lam] the most important signing this club has made without a shadow of a doubt.
“Chris Chester was instrumental in that, so I suppose really the process started there.
“I’ve always had a decent relationship with Chris. He’s come into my club a few times while he was still coaching and me and Neil Jukes went and met him and he had an opportunity to go back coaching in Super League, but we were able to convince him to come on this journey with us and then that was an important part with Adrian.
“Adrian wasn’t fixed on that at that particular point in time. He kind of mentioned some players to Chris he thought could be useful to us and help us, I think Caleb Aekins was one of those.
“He saw from afar that we actually went about doing those things and recruiting some of those people.
“And we were patient to try and get Adrian because we knew how important that was.
“Chris was prepared to coach the team to start with until we could get the right person if that’s what it took.
“Adrian saw that we followed those actions through. He met up with myself and bought into my vision and that I had an ambition.
“The players love him.”
“I said I’ve done it three times, this will be the fourth, it’s not about having a go in Super League or getting into Super League. It’s about this time winning something and replicating what we’ve done in 1921, 1971 and 1982 seasons, winning the Championship.
“That’s what I want and I want to build a youth structure. I want it to be a bigger picture and in the end that’s what got him.
“For me, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully to any other coach that I’ve had at the club who have all done really well and worked hard, he’s just different gravy.
“The players love him, he rewards them and demands that they work hard and he’s ambitious himself.
“Together we’re having a fabulous time and there’s a real connectivity at the club.”