NEWPORT County AFC new boy Darcy Blake has gone back to his roots in an attempt to secure a Wales recall.
The 25-year-old international defender from New Tredegar has joined the Exiles on non-contract terms until the end of season and is set to make his debut at Torquay United this afternoon.
Blake was released by Premier League Crystal Palace and Newport-born boss Tony Pulis in January having not played a competitive first team match since December 2012 due to injuries and concerns over his fitness.
But the former Cardiff City youngster is convinced that a run of games for County in League Two can help attract interest from bigger clubs this summer and propel him back towards the national squad.
“I need to play football if I want to get back in the Wales squad,” said Blake, who won the last of his 14 caps in Croatia in October 2012.
“That’s my aim and as soon as Newport offered me the chance to come here it was a no-brainer really.
“To play for Wales you need to be playing week-in, week-out and that’s something I haven’t been doing.
“But I don’t see why I can’t be involved with Wales again, even playing at this level. As soon as I’m match-fit and I give 100 per cent then hopefully I’ll get a call-up.
“It would be a great time to get back in with the qualifiers coming up and it’s definitely a target for me.
“I think we can qualify for Euro 2016 with the players we’ve got and the young lads coming through.”
But Blake knows that he has a lot of hard work ahead of him before he can think about playing for his country again.
“I need to prove to people that I can still do it and I have a point to prove to myself because I’ve been out of first team football for a while now,” he said.
“I left Crystal Palace to get out and get some games and I’m pleased to get this opportunity now to play and show what I can do.
“There’s no guarantee and I’ll have to work hard to get games but it’s nice to be back in Wales. I’m a local boy and it feels like home.
“My first game for Cardiff under-10s was Torquay away so I’m going back to where it all started for me and it’s great to be back training at Llanrumney where I learned my trade with Cardiff.”