Olly Ashall-Bott is finally getting to live his dream as a Super League player, after being made to wait two long years for his first senior game.
The Widnes talent made his debut in last week’s defeat to Castleford, ending an extended wait to earn his first Super League appearance.
Ashall-Bott suffered two season-ending injuries in the previous two years, with knee and shoulder injuries cruelly hindering his progression.
Despite that, he returned fully fit in the off-season and after an encouraging performance in pre-season, coincidentally against Widnes’ opponent this week, Warrington, he was finally handed his professional debut.
Still only 20, Widnes’ coaching staff have high hopes for the versatile back, but Ashall-Bott himself is just grateful to have finally been given a chance to play.
“It was great to get out there,” he said.
“It took a couple of years but I don’t think about the past now, I’m looking at the future.
“I think the injuries have motivated me more to get where I am. I never think of the injuries, I never think about doing them again or anything like that.
“I just want to keep my spot in the team. I think I did alright against Cas, it was the first time I’ve ever played on the wing. It’s completely different, you have to know when to jam and read plays. You’re not normally in that many tackles, you’re just in the back.
“I’ve not had much time to play over the last few years but I think it’s a matter of time before I can show what I can do.”
He is set to play in the club’s big derby game with Warrington on Friday, a fixture he believes can bring the club together should they secure victory.
“From the point of view of the fans it’s a big derby and the fans will want to win this one.
“Wire is massive, and if we can get one over them the fans will stick with us massively.”