Foster baffled at lack of first team chances

Jamie Foster
Jamie Foster
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JAMIE Foster has admitted his Saints career is over - but says he still perplexed by the decision to allow him to leave.

Foster - arguably one of the finest goalkickers in Super League - has joined Bradford Bulls on a 12-month deal in the hope resurrecting a career which started in a blaze of glory and then slowly went downhill last season.

The 22-year-old winger, who still had a year left on his existing contract and agreed to the move by mutual consent, said: “I know I am a good player and I can score both tries and goals as my record shows.

“I’m not going to lie, I was getting frustrated playing in the under 20s at Saints and I was finding it hard to motivate myself on match days - stuff like getting your bag ready, it was that hard.

“I played 60-plus Super League games and in Grand Finals and all of a sudden you’ve got someone saying you’ll be playing on front of 50 in a council field. I was scratching my head.

“I couldn’t see the light this season coming though. I know we’ve got a new coach coming in, but I was heading into the last 12 months of my deal.

“I didn’t want to wait until it was too late and struggle to find somewhere.”

Foster - scorer of 34 tries and 241 conversions as a Saints’ player - was given the cold shoulder at Langtree Park in March after his defensive error led to a surprise 12-8 defeat at Odsal.

It also resulted in head coach Royce Simmons being shown the exit door with Mike Rush taking over as caretaker boss working along side his no. 2, Keiron Cunningham.

Foster, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at Hull FC, added: “I’m a St Helens lad who grew up in this bubble of wanting to play for Saints, but when I went to Hull I did really enjoy it.

“I spent a long time thinking about the decision, and it wasn’t easy.

“There are blokes in that team like Gary Wheeler and Lee Gaskell, who I’ve known at St Helens since I was six. To be apart from people like that is tricky. I don’t want it to sound like a sob story, but it is tough when you’ve been used to something for a long time.

“Hopefully, working with new faces will bring the best out of me.

“I didn’t get that opportunity under Mike and Keiron for whatever reason.”

Despite his evident disappointment, Foster still found time to praise his former club and their supporters.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

“I would also like to thank the fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin.

“Now I am looking forward to joining the Bulls and working with Francis Cummins.

Cummins, who is head coach at Bradford, said: “Despite having a great deal of experience for such a young man, Jamie has also a few points to prove here.

“I think he did that at Hull and he needs to kick on from there.

“It will be hard for him as well, initially, to leave Saints after such a long time but he has to take the next step in his career as a lot of our players had to do.