Adrian Lam keen on bigger Leigh Leopards squad next season

ADRIAN LAM is glad to have the easiest recruitment cycle of his time so far at Leigh Leopards.

After their recent defeat in the first round of the Super League play-offs, Leigh are now looking to back up an excellent return to the top-flight, which brought a fifth-place league finish and a Challenge Cup triumph.

Lam admits his two-year reign has been an “incredible journey”, after taking charge following relegation from Super League at the end of 2021.

Despite only having a handful of players on contract at the time, Lam managed to build a promotion-winning team.

And Leigh then managed to build a squad capable of competing in Super League, mostly recruited while still a Championship club.

“Last year in the Championship, to sign the 15 (new) players was a nightmare because no one wanted to come to a club that wasn’t guaranteed Super League promotion until the last day of the season,” said Lam.

“It’s been a bit easier to recruit this year. As each year goes along, our retention and recruitment will come to the forefront. 

“Getting that right will give us a chance to finish higher up the ladder each year.”

Lam is especially keen to have a bigger squad next term, after only 22 players made five or more appearances for the Leopards in 2023.

“We’ve got by most of the season with the same players every week,” he added.

“Overall we’ll build our squad a little bigger next year. We’re still recruiting. 

“We’ve got a five-year plan in place and the goal next year will be to finish higher than we have done this year.

“The five-year plan is to recruit players in that will win us a competition.

“That’s my job, that’s (director of rugby) Chris Chester’s job, that’s Derek’s and Jukesy’s (owner Derek Beaumont and CEO Neil Jukes) support role to get that done.

“We’ve done a pretty good job up to here.”