Purtill keen on Leigh job

Kieron Purtill has thrown his name into the hat to become the next head coach of Leigh Centurions following the resignation of Neil Jukes.

Jukes stepped down as the club’s head coach last week after a poor start to the season, with the Centurions losing three of their opening four games.

Purtill was put in caretaker charge after serving as Jukes assistant and is now the favourite to become the club’s next permanent head coach despite yesterday’s defeat to Featherstone.

A number of people have been linked with the club, although a number of potential candidates have ruled themselves out of the running.

Two Championship coaches distanced themselves from the role while Rugby League legend Shaun Edwards also said he would not be chasing the position.

However, Purtill has declared his interest in the role, having spent time at the club as a player before returning as an assistant coach in 2016.

“I’ve always said I’d love to be head coach at some point,” he said.

“If you ask any player, there’s always a club somewhere they feel is best suited to them and where their heart is and you get an affiliation with that club. That club is Leigh for me.

“I’ve been other places away from the club but it has always held a special place in my heart. I live in the town and my kids support Leigh. It would mean a lot to get the opportunity to coach my hometown club.

“If it comes to a point where Derek approaches me and asks me to do the job I’d love to. In the long-term I want what is best for the club and if that’s going in another direction then I’m still on board and I’ll support that.

“I’ll just keep doing the best I can and what’s right and try to get the club back on track.”

The Championship’s title sponsor, Betfred, have made Purtill the favourite with odds as short of 4/6.

Paul Anderson, who Purtill worked as an assistant to at Huddersfield, is the second favourite at 3/1.

Leigh are currently ninth in the Championship, five points adrift of the top four.