LEIGH LEOPARDS took rugby league by storm in 2023.
Not only did they brush aside a number of competitors in Super League after earning promotion just the year before, the Leopards lifted the Challenge Cup trophy for the first time in over 50 years.
Though the Leopards took almost everybody by surprise with their success, head coach Adrian Lam insists that the players felt they had a good enough squad and team to excel.
“We didn’t exceed expectations for ourselves. From the very start, looking around at the squad, I felt we had the faces and experience of players to get some success,” Lam told League Express.
“But what we did was make sure we looked after that we could control and kept within our circle as opposed to what everyone else was saying.
Lam, however, doesn’t feel the pressure despite the success the Leopards enjoyed last year.
“I don’t really feel under more pressure. There is a philosophy around the five-year plan. I think we have brought in nine or ten new faces and those players are probably better players than, with all due respect, the ones we had. So we are expecting to have a bigger squad but also a better squad.
“That’s what derailed us last season. I think we got a little bit tired and our better players were out on their feet. It got to us by the end of the season.”
Despite the ending, it was an incredible season for Leigh and a lot of that off-field success was down to owner Derek Beaumont and his initiatives – including a band stage and firebreathers that were present throughout the season.
For Lam, Beaumont is the man that makes Leigh tick.
“He has always got things ticking over. He has that creative mind and that’s what has made the club so successful.
“The rebranding and everything else we have developed has been a real eye opener. It’s been a great time for fans and the club about where we’ve got to in such a quick time.
“We have to keep our feet grounded and keep working hard with the performance on the field and off the back of that I think ideas and success will come.”
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