In the search for a cemented spot in the Newcastle Knights’ starting line-up, the effervescent Nathan Ross has put his recent success down to his commitment to consistency.
The dynamic winger hasn't missed a game since Round 2 and has embraced ownership of the number two jersey.
“I’m slowly getting to where I want to be, but I’m not going to cap my performances and get complacent,” he said on Wednesday.
“I think I have a lot of growth to go as a footballer and a person.
“I’m trying to get those gains every single week."
It has been an ongoing journey of improvement for the passionate 27-year-old who has dedicated himself to bettering himself both on and off the field.
“I guess it is consistency in all round life,” he said.
“The way I train, the way I play, consistency in communication, no errors and smart plays rather than brain explosions.
“I’m extremely happy with the way things are panning out, but I have to keep growing as a player and as a person and delivering performances week in, week out in order to keep that spot."
He attests competition within the Knights' squad has also created a healthy environment for players to grow.
“With the outside backs we have in Newcastle, even though we aren’t travelling that well as a team, with the players’ individual talent, you can’t have an off-week because someone will take that spot," he said.
Ross continues to establish himself as a fan-favourite through his spectacular on field aerial displays, most recently seen in Monday’s match against the Manly Sea Eagles when he leaped sky-high to collect a bomb before scoring.
“I have been working on it a lot and think it’s a bit of a lost art for wingers these days,” he said.
“There hasn’t been a winger who consistently contests a high cross-field kick since Israel Folau.
“I’m trying to bring that into my game because players need to evolve and hopefully I can keep making some highlight reel moments.
“I have been told by coaches before that I’m too short, but having someone tell you that you can’t do something isn’t going to stop you.
“You have to back yourself and do the best you can and hopefully it all comes up trumps.”
The special reason Ross wants to be at his best and build a successful rugby league career is his two-year-old son, Ziah. It's why he forms the letter 'Z' with his hands everytime he crosses the line.
“I do a 'Z' with my hands and that’s for my son Ziah. It’s a reminder for me of what I’m doing and the reason why I put my body through what I’m doing,” he said.
“It’s to set up a good future for him.
“At my highest moments, I’m still thinking about him.
“I have been given an opportunity where I can set a solid foundation and future for him.
"I’m going to play football to the best of my ability and hopefully lock down another contract with the Newcastle Knights and get some longevity here and set up a good future for him.”
The Newcastle Knights are auctioning their match worn ANZAC playing jerseys to raise funds for the RSL. CLICK HERE to place a bid.