ALEX Walmsley’s rise to Super League is one of the real success stories of recent years.
In successive seasons he’s gone from playing at Dewsbury Celtic, Leeds Met and Batley Bulldogs to first team star at Saints.
And now he’s a regular fixture in Nathan Brown’s 13.
“I’m starting games now which is something I’ve not been used to,” Alex said. “It’s a new challenge; I’m enjoying it and playing more minutes. It allows me to be more explosive. I’m playing three or four stints and I am comfortable with what Nathan is asking me to do.
“It will be a physical game on Thursday. We didn’t get off to the best start against Hull but we finished the game well and that’s how we need to start against Salford. It will be a battle in the pack and we’ll get smashed about a bit with the likes of Hansen and Hock in there.
“Perhaps we fell in love with ourselves a little. We forgot how we got that win at Warrington – it was done by knuckling down and taking it up in the middle. We came back in the second half and did what we’re supposed to do.
“We earned the right to play and we did that but Hull were better in the first half.”
Walmsley has played 50 games in his career to date, 28 for the Saints, and feels he is learning all the time.
“After playing at Leeds Met, I only had a year at Batley so sometimes I still feel pretty raw,” he continued. “I’ve come a long way since then, especially with my fitness, and that was one of the challenges I faced.
“I feel a lot fitter as a player and I have learnt a lot from Keiron Cunningham, Browny and the senior players skill wise.
“As a student at Leeds Met it was a dream to be picked up by Batley and now look at me. I know I am blessed to be in this position and it isn’t something I take lightly. People are talking about international honours but my main priority is to develop as a player.”