A new signing story.
The media team’s Whatsapp group lit up like Cwmavon Community Christmas Tree at the start of the festive season when the news was announced. “A new signing!” “He’s a former Swansea City player”, “We need to get this one right lads, our first signing in the JD Cymru Leagues” was the gist of the conversation.
A meeting was set (well a zoom call in the garden with a few cans but who’s going to know), and a plan was put into place to welcome Chris ‘Chrissy’ Jones to Trefelin BGC.
The first thoughts were a grand unveiling. Think Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid or Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona, fans, flags, press, maybe even a buffet… but wait a minute what about COVID, was it allowed? One quick call to the authorities later, and our bubble was burst. No fanfare, no kids lining the pitch. Social distancing was the order of the day, and while the media team were deflated, the club treasurer was relieved (have you seen the cost of a buffet these days?).
So on a warm July Sunday morning, Chris Jones arrived at the Ynys Park. He was greeted by Vice Chairman Donald Robbins, General Manager Chris Latham, Bar Manager Rob Robbins, Director of Painting Chrissy Johns (not sure that’s his official title but we will let it go), Club Media Officer Phil Abraham and club photographer Steve Handley. Although it was Plan B, I had no doubt our new signing would be overwhelmed.
You should not judge anyone on first impressions I have been told, but I find they are always interesting. Our first impression of Chris Jones when he arrived was ‘wow he’s young’. I had to double-check his Wikipedia page to make sure it was the right bloke (yes he has his own Wikipedia page). It appears that football at the top level had been good to Chris. Rather than looking worn out and tired after too many years playing rugby (and maybe too much ale) like me, Chris is fresh-faced and full of energy.
We sat (2m apart) and chatted as a committee with Chris, and our second impression was what a nice young man. Articulate, intelligent and funny (all new traits for the club!!) he was going to fit right in. Chris told us the last time he played at the Ynys was age 14, and he was amazed at how the ground looked now and was looking forward to a new challenge in his career.
Finally, we moved onto the obligatory photo shoot and Q&A which welcomes all new players to clubs, Steve Hadley took the snaps, and I asked the questions so here goes:
Swansea City, Cambridge United, Grimsby Town, Neath FC, TNS, Gloucester City, Port Talbot, Thunder Bay Chill, Aberystwyth Town, Afan Lido, Llanelli Town, Carmarthen Town
Career Highlights :
Welsh Premier League winner 2012/13 & 2013/14
Welsh Cup winner 2013/14
Welsh Premier League Young Player of the Year 2010/11
Welsh Premier League Team of the Year 2010/11,2011/12,2013/14
Wales U15, U16, U17, U19, U21, U23
Welsh League Division 1 Winner 2017/18
What boots do you wear?
Nike Mercurial Vapour (although I have bought the Total90 remakes)
How have you been coping without football during lockdown?
What have been your experiences as a professional footballer?
Making my Swansea debut as a 17-year-old will obviously be the proudest moment. It was against Walsall away on a Tuesday night. That whole season being around and playing with players that I had been watching and supporting previously was strange at first. But then it just becomes normal and the next step for me, it’s still my favourite season of my career.
Best advice for any young player?
Enjoy every moment and take advantage of every game as time flies by.
Best opponent, both team and player.
Player: Mesut Ozil
Team: Germany U19s and England U16s
How would you describe yourself as a player?
Attacking direct creative
My grandfather Glyn. Big Glyn for those who know him around this area!
Best all-time XI (your generation)
Ronaldo (R9) C.Ronaldo Messi Zidane Iniesta Xavi Carlos Maldini Cannavaro Cafu Buffon
Why did you take the decision to join Trefelin BGC?
After meeting Richie and the staff, I liked their philosophy and ambition. The club has come such a long way in a short period of time, and it’s exciting to be a part of the next challenge.
What are your thoughts for the season ahead?
Hopefully, we can finish as high as possible. With our squad, I think we can challenge at the top of the league
Ideal night out?
This has changed with age! Probably out local and then to watch a band.
Have you tried the Guinness at the Ynys yet?
I haven’t, I’m not a Guinness fan. Sorry.
It was all going so well until the last question! (Rob Robbins has already accepted the challenge and is confident Chris will be drinking Guinness like the rest of us before the midway point of the season).
On a serious note, Richie Ryan and the club have brought a top-quality signing to the Macron Ynys Park. Chris’ CV speaks for itself. 2 Welsh Premier League Titles, 1 Welsh Cup, capped for Wales at age-group levels up to Under 23, Welsh League team of the year twice, ex Swansea City player and a direct opponent of Mesut Ozil to pick a just few highlights!
Most importantly, for a club like Trefelin BGC, Chris is a genuinely nice bloke. I’m sure he will fit into the squad and club’ family’ with ease, we all look forward to welcoming him to the Ynys properly when the COVID crisis is over.
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