ECU land ex-Swansea City defender

ECU land ex-Swansea City defender

Posted on January 28, 2016 in 'News'

ECU  Joondalup continue their rebuilding for 2016 with the signing of former Swansea City defender Joseph Jones.

The 19-year-old landed in Perth on Sunday and trained for the first time with his new teammates on Monday, as they prepare for the QBE NPLWA Night Series. Jones, who played his junior football at Cardiff City, before joining the Swans in 2012 on a football Scholarship, and played in the FA Premier League under 21’s at the club, and also represented Wales at youth level.

Jones said the move to ECU came after speaking to players who have played in Australia before, and he believes the fresh challenge is just what he’s looking for. “I spoke to a few of the boys back home who had previously played football in the state leagues over in Melbourne they told me how good it was to play out here and how high the standard is and how much you can learn from it,” he explained. “I started to get in contact with Pete Roberts who introduced me to Syd Amphlett and it started from there on.”

The club have recruited well ahead of the new season, with striker Gordon Smith heading to the club from Scotland and former St Mirren and Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry also joining the club. Jones said the club are very ambitious and that’s what impressed him during the conversations with head coach Dale McCulloch. “It was one of the main attractions towards coming to the club. The aims of the club are visible this season, we want to progress and do well and the signings have shown the clubs intention this year,” he said. “The club are making a big statement this year and it’s exciting to be a part of it and help the club achieve those targets.”

McCulloch said Jones is a great inclusion to the side, and will give his young side more experience. “After losing a number of experienced players, the likes of Charlie Comyn-Platt, Carl Rodgers and Jon Higgins from last season, the signing of Joseph, Gordon Smith and Steven McGarry is vital,” he said. “Our defence is very young and Joseph will bring a vast amount of experience at the back. He is only young himself, but he’s played at a good level in the FA Premier League under 21’s at Swansea. He’s fitted in immediately and looks good on the ball and we are happy to have secured his services for next season.”

The defenders first training session on Monday was certainly an eye opener and he said he’s been told about the warm weather in Perth, and knows it will be tough in the first few weeks but he said he will get used to it. “The heat is something that I wasn’t used to coming from Wales we never see this kind of weather. Coming from winter in Wales to summer in Perth does take getting used too but that isn’t a negative,” he joked. “The first session was very good getting to know the boys and the way in which ECU like to play football and is a big plus because it suits me that passing style. Also the way the club looks after the players and how the manager and staff conduct themselves and go about the sessions in a professional way is a massive positive as they have been brilliant in helping me to settle in.”

Jones joined Cardiff City at a young age and played there until he was 16, before moving onto Swansea in 2012, and earned himself a professional contract at the Swans. The first part of this season in the UK he played for Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot, before heading down under and he said he will do all he can to help the club to success. “I’ll bring a lot of hard work and a winning mentality to ECU and hopefully a bit of experience playing in competitive football with me,” Jones said. “It’s a chance to make a big impression on the NPLWA and the club who have put a lot of faith in me by bringing me over. It’s a very exciting challenge for me and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

The teenager’s decision to leave Swansea was a difficult one, but along with a number of his team mates, it had to be done. “It was difficult leaving Swansea after three years at the club but that’s football, it has its ups and downs. I enjoyed my time there and I learnt a lot in that period. However there wasn’t any progression at the club for myself and a lot of other players and it was for the best that I moved on,” he explained. “It was great playing at the highest standard as a young kid and playing at the highest level is something you always dream of doing and playing against all the top clubs across Europe helps you develop quickly as a young player.”

He represented Wales at Youth level, playing six times against England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Switzerland and Mexico, and he said to wear the red shirt of his Country was a great memory. “Ask any player and they will tell you representing your Country, is always a massive honour and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” Jones said. “I played at both u16/17 and once and u19 levels. I played against a lot of international teams and it was great experience and one I won’t forget.”