Westerman – never too old to change

Joe Westerman has admitted that a lack of professionalism has contributed to him perhaps not fulfilling his potential in the game.

The 30-year-old has joined Wakefield Trinity for 2020, and admits it is a fresh challenge he is relishing after an up-and-down period for his own career.

And Westerman said that he’s not taken the professional side of playing as seriously as he perhaps should have done, which he now needs to do if he is to make the most of his playing days in his 30s.

“My career has not gone to plan,” Westerman told League Express.

“I’ve really enjoyed my career, but it’s time I admitted to myself that I’ve probably not been the most professional player.

“I’ve always been able to get through on a bit of smartness from a rugby perspective, to be honest, but as you get older you start to realise you have to eat a bit better, not drink as much and train a bit harder.

“In my younger years, I didn’t really do any of that and there are times when I look back and wish I’d just grafted a bit harder. But there’s no point doing that now. I’m 30, but it’s nowhere near over. I want some silverware now.”

When asked if there was a moment in his career that proved to be a turning point, Westerman said: “When I did my knee 18 months ago, I got sepsis in it and that was the moment that made me realise I need to be on it to get fit properly now.

“Once your body begins to fall apart you’re in trouble, so that was a moment that made me wake up. But this is the first pre-season I’ve had in four years because of injuries and it’s been fantastic.”

Westerman sees the move to Trinity as not only a new start, but an opportunity to win some long-awaited silverware. He is yet to win a major trophy, despite spending time at Hull FC and Warrington but missing out on their Challenge Cup successes. But he believes that can come to an end at Belle Vue.

He said: “We’ve 100 per cent got the group to win something here. There’s absolutely no reason why not. It’s a fantastic squad and if we can keep our key men fit, the world is our oyster.

“I had a desire to get back nearer home, but there were a few other clubs I could have gone to, and in my head, this club was the best move for me after speaking to people here. It just felt right, and I’m really happy and really enjoying it.

“You look at the size of the club at Hull and people might say this is a step down, but that’s genuinely disrespectful. We’ve got a great, great side here and if we can keep players fit, unlike last year, who knows how far this group can go? It’s good to be an underdog and we’ll thrive with that tag.”

And Westerman concedes there were no regrets about returning to Hull last year.

“I love the club, love the people there and I couldn’t say a bad word about them. They gave me a chance to go back there and, while it didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to, I really enjoyed it and it’s a club very close to my heart.”