IN-FORM WINGER Ben Jones-Bishop believes Wakefield Trinity can start reaching finals and challenging for silverware during his new three-year contract.
Jones-Bishop – who will line up against his former club Leeds Rhinos at Beaumont Legal Stadium, Belle Vue this evening – this week re-signed for Wakefield until the end of 2020.
He was wanted by several rival clubs, but reckons he is in the right place to develop his career.
“We were one step away from the Challenge Cup final last year,” Jones-Bishop pointed out.
“The important thing for me was keeping the majority of the squad together.
“Look at the success Castleford are having at the moment – the majority of their squad has been together for two or three seasons and they are reaping the rewards from that with the way they are playing.
“That had a big influence on me, the re-signings the club made before. They have added well, brought in some experience and improved and I don’t see why we can’t be challenging for trophies in the next few years.
“That is the aim.”
Catalans Dragons are among the teams understood to have been keen to sign Jones-Bishop, but the Leeds-born winger who has scored 26 tries in 37 games since joining Wakefield from Salford ahead of the 2016 season - stressed: “I was keen to stay.
“In my two years here I have enjoyed it and I think I have progressed. They have brought the best out of me and as a club it has been growing as well.
“There was interest from elsewhere, but it was just a case of weighing everything up and seeing what was best for me and best for my family.”
Jones-Bishop will be aiming to celebrate his new deal with a win over Leeds today.
The sides are locked together on 22 points and both bidding to secure a place in Betfred Super League’s top-four.
“It’s a big game and it’s a derby – that adds a bit more to it,” Jones-Bishop said.
“We are on a good run and they’ve found some form and seem to be playing some good rugby from what I’ve seen.
“They have threats all over the field so we will have to be good defensively. It is a big task.
“We were very good last week against Salford. In the first half we defended very well and we were pretty ruthless and we will have to be similar this week.”
Trinity – who are on a seven-game winning run – have a point to prove after their 38-14 defeat at Headingley in March.
“That and Castleford away were the two times we’d probably say as a team we were not in the game,” Jones-Bishop recalled.
“We were massively disappointed. It was a long time ago, but we will be looking to put that right and keep on the form and the run we are on at the minute.”
Taking on Leeds is still special for Jones-Bishop. He remains in touch with his former colleagues and added: “It is always nice to play against them.
“They are my home town team and it’s where I came through. I had some early success there and always relish the opportunity to play against them and some of my old teammates
“Also, lining up opposite Ryan Hall is a massive challenge in itself and one I look forward to.”