Leigh Centurions have confirmed the appointment of former player John Duffy as their new coach – while at the same time insisting he was not contractually bound by former club Featherstone.
TotalRL revealed last week how Duffy had begun talks with Leigh over returning to a club with whom he made over 200 appearances across three different spells, resulting in the end of his time in charge of Featherstone.
Featherstone subsequently issued a statement declaring they were seeking legal advice and had terminated Duffy’s contract on the basis of gross misconduct. He has now been appointed as Leigh coach; Paul Anderson continues as assistant, while Micky Higham will combine a playing role along with a title of conditioner off the field.
In a statement, Leigh said: “In light of the pending advice, the club does not believe that it is appropriate to provide a substantive response apart from putting on record that it requested, on several occasions, the alleged contract between Featherstone and John Duffy. Despite these numerous requests, this has not been provided.
“At no time did John Duffy sign a further contract with Featherstone Rovers, nor did he verbally agree to remain their coach beyond the 2018 season. Further, on 20 November 2018, Featherstone terminated the original contract with him. Therefore, John Duffy is not contractually bound to Featherstone.”
Duffy said: “I had a meeting with Ando and Micky and we are all in the same boat. Once you have played for Leigh it never leaves you. Having them on board speaks volumes and we all have a burning desire to get the club back to where it needs to be.
“I’d like to thank Derek and the rest of the board for giving me this opportunity. I’ve come back twice before as a player and I was especially proud of what we achieved under Derek in 2004, getting promotion to Super League. That was an outstanding experience and we want to bring back those good times.
“At the minute we are trying to rebuild the club and to do that we are going to concentrate on local players. Leigh lads who’ve played for the club before and who are coming home, Leigh lads who have always wanted to play for Leigh and lads who want to come and play for me.”