KIERON Purtill believes Championship clubs need to consider investing in reserve teams to avoid a repeat of this year’s end of season selection problems.

Only special dispensation to make seven, one-off signings for their Championship Shield final at Featherstone last Sunday enabled Leigh to field a full complement of 17 players.

Rovers, who named just 14 men for their earlier Championship Shield fixture against the Centurions, used three dual registration players to make up their 17.

Leigh scrapped its reserve squad for the 2016 campaign to focus on what proved a successful fight for Super League status.

“The Academy or Reserves issues need addressing, particularly for the teams in the Championship,” said Purtill after Leigh’s 42-10 defeat at Featherstone. “It is vital.

“If you look at Halifax how they have got through the year. They invested in the reserves and they have had players come through.

“We have used nearly 45 players this season and I looked at Featherstone: they had 23 players unavailable who had played for them this year.

“For the sport in general we need to invest in youth and reserve teams to help make our player pool bigger than what it is.”

Purtill admits he has no idea where he will be working next season as the club continues to re-structure.

Journal Sport understands negotiations are on-going with several players over the severance of their contracts before finalising a potential budget for next season.

“I am sure the club will put things into fast forward in the next couple of weeks,” said Purtill. “But it is looking like there will be a part-time team for Leigh Centurions next season

“However, there is still a lot of work to be done behind the scenes and a lot of work to be done on the field. It is going to be a busy club over the next few weeks.”

On the performance at Rovers Purtill added: “It was a fantastic effort .

“We lost the game but I couldn’t be any more proud of those guys. They have gone through a lot and the new guys who came in I can say thank you enough.”

In a statement from the Board, Leigh said: “We can confirm it is continuing to restructure the Club in order to ensure that it can be sustainable for future seasons.

“To date, no investors have expressed an interest in the Club and therefore the Board continue to attempt to reduce its liabilities to protect its future.

“The Board is liaising with all Club stakeholders, including several remaining players, in order it can meet its ongoing obligations.”

Former Leigh skipper Harrison Hansen will be playing against Centurions next year.

Hansen, who left Leigh for Widnes in July, has agreed a new one-year deal to play for relegated Vikings in the Championship next season.

Centurions hooker Liam Hood could link-up again with Hansen in 2019 after being tipped to join the Vikings.