Late Albion opportunity delighted Ascroft-Leigh
LOCK Ien Ascroft-Leigh did not have time to get nervous about making his Plymouth Albion debut against Leeds last Saturday.
The former Cambridge and Newbury player only found out less an hour before kick-off that he would be starting the Championship match.
Ascroft-Leigh had been due to be on Albion's replacements' bench, but was called into the team at the last minute when Aaron Carpenter had to pull out to be with his wife who was about to give birth to their first child.
Summer arrival Ascroft-Leigh was delighted to get the chance to play and is now hoping for more opportunities in an Albion shirt.
Comprising Lounge,Kitchen,Dining Room,Utility Room,2nd,3rd & 4th Bedrooms,Master Bedroom With En-Suite,Bathroom,Gardens,Garage & Driveway.CT Band E.EPC Band D.Av.12/07/13 For 6 Mths & Ongoing.
Terms: ***NB: Please be advised that charges are applicable per application and subject to contract. No additional charges are required for the Tenancy Agreement or Inventory unless stated otherwise.***
Contact: 01752 421825
Valid until: Thursday, August 01 2013
"I was really happy to get my first run out for the team and get a fair amount of time," said the 25-year-old.
"I was initially going to be on the bench, but then I found out about half-an-hour to an hour before that I would be playing, so there was no real time to get nervous.
"It was a nice surprise really and I was happy to step up as I had been itching to get on the pitch and play."
"I had been on the bench the previous week (against the Cornish Pirates) and there had been problems with my registration the first week, but it was nice to have a go at this standard of rugby again."
When asked if he was happy with his performance in Albion's 32-31 win over Leeds, Ascroft-Leigh said: "I am never normally happy with my performance and it was same again on Saturday.
"I wish I could have done more and made less mistakes. There is always things I would change and always thing to improve on."
Ascroft-Leigh played in English rugby's second tier as a youngster for Newbury.
He played 57 times in the old National Division One, which was the predecessor of the Championship.
He said: "I played at the equivalent of this level a few years ago with Newbury and I have been dying to get back to playing this standard again now that I am a bit older and a bit more experienced.
"This is finally my chance to get my foot in the door at a club like this.
"I am just grateful to be here and I can't wait to play more.
"I just want to play more now."
Ascroft-Leigh is certainly enjoying life at Brickfields.
"I love being in Plymouth," he said.
"I love the training and the hard work we are putting in.
"It was just nice to be able to show what I could do out there on the pitch."
The Somerset county player had an eventful season last year.
He played for three clubs in two different countries.
"I was at Cambridge for most of last year, but I left there when the club went bust," he said. "I did a short stint at Ealing Trailfinders and then a short stint in America."
Ascroft-Leigh played for Los Angeles side Santa Monica.
"It was a bit of a whim thing," he said. "I heard through a friend that they were looking for someone in my position and I thought I should just do it.
"I thought why not try something completely different and then come back to England and play some decent rugby again.
"It was good fun. The rugby standard is a lot different.
"I was playing in Southern California One. The contact skills and speed is exactly the same but the way the game plays out is a lot different.
"It is completely amateur. There is nothing like Brickfields out there. You would play at a middle school or high school most the time. A lot of the time over there you have to put the posts up yourselves and put sandbags on them to hold them up before the game."
It was due to the fact that he had been playing in America which took a bit longer for his registration to come through.
But now Ascroft-Leigh is all sorted at Albion and played his first game he is hoping his career is going to take off again.