Jukes confirmed as new Centurions head coach

Leigh Centurions have officially confirmed Neil Jukes as their new head coach.

Jukes, the former assistant to Paul Rowley who resigned in the week, shall continue to work with assistant coaches Paul Anderson and Simon Finnigan.

The 39-year-old played for the Centurions in his playing days, making 32 appearances before injury cut his career short.

He returned to Leigh as reserve team coach in 2009 and has gradually worked his way up the ranks at the club.

“It’s a great honour to be invited to be head coach of Leigh Centurions. I’d like to thank Paul for all his help and advice over the duration we’ve spent working together. I owe him a lot and where I am today is largely down to Paul’s help and support.

As a coach he has always been open and has believed and had confidence in his staff. He’s not one of those coaches who keeps things to himself and doesn’t pass things on. He aims to develop his staff, give them confidence and put them in situations where they can progress in their roles.

“We have worked closely together over the years and though we won’t now see one another on a day to day basis we will remain good friends.”

“Thursday was a strange day and a sad day. I enjoyed what we had together, Paul and me and our relationship. But such is life- there is an opportunity there for me and I will never be as equipped as I am now to be a head coach.

“I know the culture we are trying to set and I want the players to continue to be honest, hard working and with a good attitude who want to be involved. If you haven’t got that in a team it’s a hollow experience. I understand what kind of ingredients we need in our team and the reaction of the players has been superb. The three captains came to see me and assured me they are right behind me and also Ando and Finny.

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: “This is not a difficult appointment or one that needed much consideration, if any at all.

“As everybody knows I have a huge amount of respect for Rolls and value his opinion. In his letter to the Board he suggested that Neil should be promoted as his predecessor stating he was more than capable to coach the team.

“The players themselves made contact with me, stating they believed Neil was the man for the job. Nothing is broken in terms of the club’s structures, schedules, facilities and styles of play so I was keen to ensure that wasn’t disrupted.

“I have witnessed first-hand how involved Jukesy is with the team over the past two years and paid more attention to him by virtue of Rolls stating how good he was and how not many people realise how important Jukesy is to what we do.”