PRESS PASS | Jones the fan

PRESS PASS | Jones the fan

Last Sunday David Jones was playing in the Premier League with Burnley.

Tomorrow he’ll be in the squad for Wednesday’s Championship clash with Leeds. Jones the fan, the dreamer and the pragmatist tells us why.

Carlos Carvalhal spoke in pre-season about the particular attributes he is looking for in the quest for promotion:

Quality, team spirit and, perhaps most importantly, familiarity with the demands of the Championship schedule.

Carlos needs players who combine skill with the ability to tough it out for a result when the fixture list leaves little time for recovery.

In David Jones he seems to have tracked down someone who ticks all the boxes, a player he describes as “a fantastic character” who he wanted to sign “after one minute” of talking to him.

For Jones the move is a question of “still looking to improve and develop my game and … a good opportunity with the manager here, and the team, to do that.”

At 31, Jones has experienced promotion from the Championship four times and echoes Carvalhal’s emphasis on building a nucleus of players who know what the league is about and can see out games.

With Wednesday coming so close last season, he feels many of the key ingredients for promotion are already in place, including “fantastic team spirit”, which is reassuring to hear from someone who first put his head round the changing room door in the aftermath of Forestieri’s blip.

He was also attracted by the continuity at management level, allowing time for Carvalhal’s tactics and style to be understood and put into practice even if – as the manager admits – this is still a work in progress.


How Jones will fit in


Can Jones dislodge any of these?

Can Jones dislodge any of these?

Carvalhal expects Jones to play a similar role and cover the spaces Hutchinson and Lopez filled last year.

Jones himself believes his addition alongside the likes of Abdi, Bannan, Lee and former Burnley team mate Ross Wallace will give Wednesday the midfield options they need to combat the “array of different styles of play” from opponents through the season.

As for Wednesday’s own style of play, “it’s a different approach to what I’ve been used to and it’s something I’m excited about.

“I want to keep learning and to try something new is what I’ve always looked to do in my football career.

“I’m still learning and improving and I’ve still got my own ambitions about what I want to achieve in the game.”

On the back of what he describes as three happy years of Burnley’s “more traditional English style”, Jones is relishing the chance to play a more passing game under his new manager, perhaps even emulating his hero Chris Waddle.


Jones the fan


It’s been well publicised that he had ‘Waddle No. 8’ on the back of his first replica kit. “As a kid you want to see exciting players and he was certainly one of them.”

Living between Wrexham and Chester, Jones the fan didn’t get to see the Owls at Hillsborough but went along to away matches when his dad could get tickets.

Jones grew up watching this Wednesday team (Image:

Jones grew up watching this Wednesday team (Image:

“I’ve had a lot of texts from friends that have kept in touch from when I was a kid and they knew I supported Wednesday so they’ve all been saying it was inevitable …”

Joining his boyhood club is something special but the here and now is more important to Jones, who “can’t wait” to experience Hillsborough but says his main focus is to get in the team, play some games and help the club be successful.

He’s a fan, he has his dreams and he’s also a pragmatist. While helping Wednesday get back into the Premiership would be “amazing” and “brilliant” he’s also clear that there are no guarantees.

“I’ll personally be looking to give my all like I’ve done at previous clubs and see where it takes us”.

Where that takes us all in the immediate future is a Yorkshire derby on Saturday afternoon.

And he can’t wait. “Whenever I’ve played at Hillsborough it’s been rocking. It will be nice to be with them this time, on the home team. Leeds will be a battle. Like any derby the quality may get lost but everybody’s up for it.”

With those four promotions under his belt, Jones knows what it takes and with his calm, thoughtful approach looks set to be an influential player on and off the pitch.

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