Ayshford wants No.3 jersey back

Blake Ayshford
Blake Ayshford

BLAKE Ayshford has been declared a representative player of the future for years now, and the last one was meant to be his breakthrough.

But instead of missing games due to representative duty, he missed game time because his form wasn't up to his club's standard.

"It was the first year I've been on the bench, first time in my life starting on the bench actually," he said.

"I let myself down in certain areas last year."

Since making his debut in 2009, Ayshford has been a constant in a fluctuating backline, until last season.

He now wants the Wests Tigers' No.3 jersey back as his own and for people to see him as a probable representative player, not just a possible in the future.

After a few stints in the back row during last season's patch of poor form, he "didn't mind it", but sees himself as a centre and that's where he has trained in the off-season under new coach Mick Potter.

"It's been the toughest preseason in a couple of years under the new coach," he said.

"He's got a whole new way of doing things.

"Lots of cross training but it's enjoyable because you're not on the field all the time."

Being off the field for a lot of the conditioning has its bonuses — Ayshford and his mates want to get back on it and prove a point in season 2013.

"The only thing I'm after is a grand final win," the 24-year-old said.

"I missed 2005 [the Wests Tigers' maiden grand final win] but there's still a few boys around who were there and they still talk about it.

"That's what I want — a title with my mates."