JOHN Duffy is honoured by his appointment as Leigh Centurions’ head coach and will insist his new squad show the same desire to represent the club.

Centurions old boys Martyn Ridyard and Tom Spencer have already jumped at the chance to join the re-building job after last season’s trauma following relegation from Super League.

Backed up by Micky Higham and Paul Anderson, Duffy, who had three spells as a Leigh player, is convinced there are happier times ahead providing everyone buys into the Leyther ethos.

“What’s happened in the past is out of my hands,” said the 38-year-old successor to Kieron Purtill.

“I have a new challenge with a new group of players, players that love Leigh, players that have played for Leigh before plus Leigh lads who have never been given the opportunity to put the badge on.

“In my first year here they were all local lads and we had the best team spirit while I was playing the game

“That’s vital for me as a coach.

“I want to bring in players who want to play for Leigh and me as a coach.

“We have got to find those guys and get them involved.

“They need to know every time they come to training how much it means and how much that shirt means to people of the town.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and while it is going to be a really tough year, I am looking forward to the challenge.

“Speak to Micky Higham and Paul Anderson and they think the same thing as me.”

Duffy is certainly a popular appointment even if his departure wasn’t well received at Featherstone who he guided to Championship Shield success over Leigh just last month.

And the capture of 32-year-old Ridyard is equally pleasing to Leigh fans as well as Duffy.

“Everyone knows what Martin feels about Leigh Centurions,” said the Scotland co coach.

“He is a Leigh lad, a Miners lad and his dad is well known though the town.

“He doesn’t show it but I know how much it means to him being back.

“I played with Martin before I retired and I knew how good he was going to be back then.

“To have the chance to coach him again this year is something I am looking forward to.”

And Duffy isn’t fazed by Centurions’ tough start to their 2019 Betfred Championship campaign including a first game, home opener against Toulouse Olympique.

“If you look at our first four fixtures, it’s going to be tough. But there’s no better way of starting the league campaign than playing the best.

“That will stand us in good stead for next year.”