Foster raring to go for Bradford Bulls ahead of St Helens reunion (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Jamie Foster raring to go for Bradford Bulls ahead of St Helens reunion
JAMIE Foster admits he would like nothing more than to walk off the pitch as a winner against home-town club St Helens tonight.
The Bulls winger has been recalled by head coach Jimmy Lowes after six matches on the sidelines.
Foster, who scored 34 tries and kicked 241 goals in 53 appearances for Saints, has never played at Langtree Park as an opposition player but is relishing the prospect.
The 23-year-old was told of his recall by Lowes on Wednesday morning and could barely contain his excitement.
Foster said: "I've spoken to Jimmy a couple of times recently when I've been told I wasn't going to play.
"He basically said 'train well and you will get your chance', so I went in on Wednesday morning and wasn't sure what to expect.
"He called me into his office and said 'are you good to go? Are you feeling fit?' I said yes and he said 'right, you're in this week'.
"I immediately thought 'Saints away' and was absolutely buzzing. If there was one game I could choose to prove myself it would be St Helens at Langtree Park.
"It's a stadium I have played at a number of times for Saints and I've only returned there since to watch games.
"I've never had the chance to play there against Saints, so I was really chuffed to get the nod.
"As a player you need that fix of rugby league at the weekend because watching is just not the same.
"You need to be playing to feel that adrenaline and I'm sure I will be feeling that at Langtree Park tonight."
Foster still lives in the St Helens area and will be backed by a number of friends and family, including his biggest supporter – his grandfather.
The former Blackbrook amateur said: "I texted all my family on my way home from training to tell them I was playing – my grandad, my gran, my mum and my auntie.
"They were replying straight away, saying 'make sure you get those tickets because we're all coming!'
"All my mates will be buzzing about it as well because, like I've said before, it doesn't just affect me if I don't play.
"It's not just a case of 'oh, Jamie will be gutted', because my family are gutted as well and my mates will be asking why I'm not playing.
"The home games are especially difficult when I'm having to explain myself to fans in the Coral Stand on match days.
"I have loads of people coming up to me saying 'what's happening? Are you leaving? Where are you going?'
"They are things I don't want to have to deal with. The only things I do want to deal with rugby-wise is my performance.
"You take things for granted at times as a professional rugby league player but when you're not getting selected, it's a bit of a reality check."
Yet Foster has done enough in training to convince Lowes he is worthy of a recall.
Foster, who played in two Grand Finals for St Helens, explained: "Being sat in the stands in the past few weeks has made me appreciate playing more than ever. That will be reflected in my performance tonight.
"There are always little things you can improve on and I've been working on them in the past few weeks.
"Jimmy has picked up on that and realises I've been trying to get my spot back. It's just a matter of performing now and hopefully keeping hold of that shirt.
"I'm feeling good, I'm feeling fresh and, the way we've been training this week, I'm really confident we can go there and give them a game.
"It would just be a great feeling to go there and win. It's a Friday night game and we will have the whole weekend off.
"When you have been thumped on a Friday night game, it ruins your weekend.
"What we do tonight will determine how we feel as a team when we rock in on Monday morning.
"That comes from winning games. I'd like the satisfaction of walking off that pitch knowing that I've performed and done well."
It would also prove a point to the club who shipped Foster out on loan to Hull during the 2012 season before he joined Bradford at the end of the year.
Foster said: "When Saints had a big dip in 2012, a couple of the young lads were made scapegoats.
"That was very frustrating, so for me to go back there and perform would be a great feeling. To get the win would be the icing on the cake."