Leigh Head Coach Paul Rowley has identified his team’s togetherness as the main reason behind the clubs success over the past few seasons.
Fast forward to now and Rowley’s side find themselves in familiar territory, after suffering 32-14 again to Featherstone with the Eagles standing in their way for a place in the Grand Final on the 30th September at Warrington.
“It has been a fantastic year”, he said. “If you look at the players we have lost over the last year we have coped really well, we had half of last year’s budget and still equalled last year’s finish. Everyone has enjoyed the season, everyone gave 100%.
“The defeat away to Batley in the Northern Rail Cup Semi Final was a shame; we didn’t have key players playing that day which hurt us. Having a small squad in games can also be frustrating but you could see that as more of a challenge. Looking past that it has been highs for the club all the way since the season began.”
He said, “You could name anyone from our team that stands out, it’s more of a team effort. We’ve got more under 21 players in our first team than any other club; they are the cornerstone of the Leigh team.
“We have Leigh boys at the club and I’ve been part of them coming through the ranks. I take pride in my work.”
When questioned on whether Rowley will bring in any new faces, he remained realistic as to what may happen over the course of the off-season.
“We have managed to retain most of the squad, would like to make one or two more acquisitions to the squad, as I want the squad to number around 22.
“We will have the same budget as before. The fact that we spend a lot less than the bigger clubs in the division like Halifax and Featherstone is tremendous, that we are able to challenge the top teams in the league on a smaller budget.”
Leigh’s playoff fixture against Sheffield is to take place this Thursday night at the Leigh Sporting Village.