06 February 2024

Adrian Lam keen to ensure Leigh continue their impressive progress

06 February 2024

Adrian Lam is determined to prove Leigh’s stunning 2023 season was no fluke.

Fuelled by an off-field rebranding campaign, the promoted Leopards not only charged up the Super League table on their top-flight return but dramatically won the Challenge Cup for the first time in 52 years.

After spending most of the summer era toiling in the lower tiers – with just three fleeting single-season campaigns in Super League amid numerous financial crises – it marked an extraordinary turnaround.

The challenge now for their dynamic former Wigan coach Lam is to prove it was no flash in the pan, as he fears many people suspect.

“I think people underestimated us last year,” said Lam, who was named coach of the year after following up cup success with a fifth-placed finish.

“I think people probably still doubt that we can do it and potentially feel that we may have got lucky, so we’ve still got a few people to prove wrong.

“We’re aware that it’s going to be that little bit harder because everyone’s aware of us.

“But we’ve added 10 new players to the group and hopefully they can bring something to us, while we’ve not lost many. We’ve just got to believe really, and have that consistency.”

Lam is pleased with how his squad has been rejigged over the winter. While a host of new faces have arrived, a core of key players including Dream Team entrants John Asiata, Robbie Mulhern, Josh Charnley, Edwin Ipape and the coach’s son Lachlan Lam have all been retained.

Among the new signings is former Penrith and Cronulla playmaker Matt Moylan, a one-cap Australia international, who looks set to play alongside Lam junior in the halves.

Lam senior said: “I think the new players that have come in are definitely better players, to add to the squad and to make us better.

“That’s all really exciting. We’ve just got to make sure that we gel off the field. By doing that we get the trust on the field.

“I think that the goal will be to finish higher than we did last year, so that would be in the top four.

“I think that’s a realistic goal but it’s going to take a lot of hard work. We’re aware of that but we’re a club that’s on the up and we want to show that’s what we’re capable of.”

The Leopards, who beat Warrington 28-12 in a pre-season friendly last weekend, begin their Super League campaign when they host Huddersfield on February 16.

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