Leigh ace Pownall sets new targets
8:52am Saturday 5th January 2013 in Sport
LEIGH Centurions winger Jonny Pownall goes into tomorrow’s showpiece home friendly against Wigan Warriors with a handful of resolutions for 2013.
The 21-year-old, who established himself as a first-team regular last season, aims to make a big impact in the coming campaign and ultimately aims to force his way into the reckoning for the fullback berth After making his firstteam debut in 2010, Pownall scored 12 tries in 19 appearances last season, including a hat-trick in a home defeat of York – a return that convinced head coach Paul Rowley to let the more experienced Dean McGilvray leave and hand the youngster the number five jersey.
“It’s a very big honour,” Pownall said, “I’ve finally got a starting squad number that I’m really happy about and that has been my goal for a couple of years.”
Asked about his hopes for the season, Pownall showed no lack of confidence when he answered: “Leading try scorer!
“I’d like to play as many games as I can and keep injury-free.
I’ve had a few injuries in the last couple of years. I’m really grateful to Paul for giving me a chance.
Not only that, but he stuck by me.
“My goal is to play full-back, but I will train as hard as I can.”
Rowley is set to play all his available firstteam squad members in tomorrow’s derby duel, kick off 3pm, against a Wigan squad which contains a number of first-team hopefuls including Iain Thornley, Sam Powell, Logan Tomkins and Dominic Crosby in addition to close-season prop signing from Hull Kingston Rovers, Scott Taylor.
Pownall believes the Centurions have prepared well for the new campaign.
“It’s been tough, the toughest since I’ve been here,” he said.
“The new players have settled in. It’s something you get every year, some players leave, some players stay and we’ve given the new players a good welcome.
“We’ve got Featherstone in the first league game and have got friendlies to come against Wigan, Salford and Swinton.
I’m really looking forward to it.”