Ex-Wigan Warriors head coach Adrian Lam hopes to use past experiences to help Leigh Leopards to a successful Super League campaign
The 52-year-old guided Leigh to promotion last year and is targeting a strong campaign in the top division.
Lam states he’s learnt a lot of things throughout the last 12 months and believes he has improved as a coach.
He said: “We had an amazing 2022 season in the Championship and achieved everything we could there.
“You don’t want those seasons to end but it feels like we’ve now got a seat back at the table with the big boys, and we are looking forward to that challenge moving forward.
“Coaching in the Championship taught me a lot about what I needed to change slightly from the years before, so I got more out of that year than what I did in Super League.
“Going back into it, I’ve got my head around what we need to do as a club and as a team.
“The last 12 months have helped me as a coach and we just need to get the players performing for 80 minutes at the weekend.
“I’ve had a lot of support, and with that I’ve certainly improved, but that doesn't win you games.
“The boys are training hard together and are getting that bonding right, so we are really excited.”
During the off-season, Leigh underwent a rebrand, which included changing their name from the Centurions to the Leopards.
“I’ve been a massive fan of it,” Lam added.
“I’m really excited by the way we’ve gone about it as a club.
“There’s a real buzz around the town.
“Even the Leopard print training kit has been outstanding for us, so everyone is happy.
“The last three times Leigh has been in Super League they’ve had automatic relegation, but now it’s a different coach, different players, a different logo and different times.
“It’s the first time I’ve worn leopard print, but it won’t be the last.”
The Leopards will face the Warriors on three occasions this season, with the first coming on March 30.
“As a player, I was fortunate enough to play for Wigan against Leigh in a Challenge Cup game,” Lam stated.
“It was at the old Hilton Park, which was an absolute nightmare.
“I know the arch-rivalry that’s between the fans in the same borough, so we want to maintain that.
“We play Wigan three times this year, so it’s going to be a massive challenge for us because I feel they are going to be one of the two favourites to win the competition.
“We will have to make sure we get our preparation right, to do our town and our team proud.”
The Leopards start their Super League campaign at Leigh Sports Village on Friday night, when they take on Salford Red Devils (K.O. 8pm).
As well as the rugby, Scouting for Girls will also be performing at the fixture.
Lam’s squad for this season features a number of ex-Wigan players, including Joe Mellor, Josh Charnley, Zak Hardaker, Jack Hughes and Umyla Hanley.