Hams banking on the basics
Hams banking on the basics

West Coast forward Ashton Hams believes perfecting team basics like blocking and forward pressure is his best chance of holding his spot when more noted goal kickers return from injury.

The 25-year-old has played nine of a possible 12 matches this year.

Injuries to Mark LeCras (knee), Mark Nicoski (hamstring) and Andrew Embley (shoulder) have afforded Hams an opportunity that may otherwise not have been there.

The 175cm mature-aged recruit from South Fremantle has repaid the club with 13 goals.

Two of those came from 14 disposals against Collingwood at the MCG last Saturday in one of his better performances for 2012.

Hams has been named on the interchange for today's match against Gold Coast alongside debutant and potential rival Murray Newman.

He said he had to make the most of his chances.

"The big keys for me, I think, are the team stuff at the moment," Hams said. "I don't get a lot of the ball so I've just got to make the most of my opportunities.

"You've got to (apply) that forward press and keep going to the coaches, see where you can do more, do extra, all those sorts of things.

"Hopefully I can keep kicking a couple of goals every week and hopefully I should be right."

Hams has already discovered what one slip-up could cost him.

A forceful collision with North Melbourne's Andrew Swallow left him with a two-match suspension for rough conduct.

Hams subsequently found himself overlooked for the round-nine derby after serving his time.

"I was shattered," Hams said.

"We're going so well and it's such a hard side to get into. The boys that are fighting to get in they play the role probably just as good.

"So you're always worried about getting back in."

Hams already knows the feeling of thinking the AFL dream is over, having waited until he was 23 to be rookie-listed by West Coast.

He said the likes of East Fremantle's Brad Dick and West Perth's Andrew Strijk were waiting in the wings if he wasn't having an impact.

"You can never get too comfortable, obviously," Hams said.

The small forward said he was also not bothered at being labelled one of the club's main "duckers" in the free-kick furore that dogged West Coast.

"I'm four foot, so I can get away with it a bit," Hams joked.

"You look at the class players that have been accused of being duckers like Joel Selwood, the two Selwoods here (Adam and Scott). They're pretty quality players. If I'm in the mix with them, I'm pretty happy about it."

The West Australian

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