NEW Leigh head coach John Duffy and Centurions legend, Micky Higham, have pledged support for the progression of a home grown talent ID programme.

With the immediate future of the club secured, the longer term vision is to unearth and develop raw but promising local players overlooked or not yet scouted by Leigh’s Super League neighbours.

The first of two Under 16’s Youth Development days, organised as part of the Tommy Sale Foundation, takes place at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday, December 8.

The second goes ahead on December 15, both sessions taken by Under 16’s coach, Michael Ostick, with Duffy, Higham and Martyn Ridyard expected to oversee how the prospects fare.

Youngsters are asked to attend for 1pm. The only stipulation is they shouldn’t already be part of a scholarship programme at any other club.

Local amateur sides and secondary schools have also given support to the initiative designed to unearth the next John Woods whose statue stands outside LSV as a wistful reminder of his outstanding ability.

Businessmen Aaron Adams and Dave Grime, plus businesswoman, Karen Southern, are instrumental in driving forward the Sale Foundation, providing a genuine commitment to ensuring local lads are given every chance to shine and progress.

Neil Barker, Leigh’s former business development manager, is also assisting with marketing and promotion of the Foundation.

He told the Journal: “The enthusiasm and commitment shown by Aaron, Dave and Karen proves the Foundation scheme is a sure way to guaranteeing a decent playing career in rugby league.

“Many new business have expressed interest to pledge their support and schools have been equally supportive.

“This is very encouraging and it is now down to those schools and the clubs to get the lads down to these development days and let them benefit from a quality environment that could eventually open so many doors.”

To book a place on one of the development days email Michael Ostick at or ring Neil Barker on 07882 714527