November’s Reels in Motion Player of the Month spoke of his delight at becoming a new Dad, receiving recognition for his performances during his debut season in League One and how the environment at the football club gets the best out of him.
- Port Vale matchday programme | We caught up with Dan Jones in Saturday’s official match programme
- We also have in depth information on visitors Accrington Stanley, Foundation and Academy News, and much more
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We caught up with Vale defender Dan Jones in Saturday's official match programme, in which he discusses the birth of his son Theo earlier this month, being voted as November Reels in Motion Player of the Month by the club’s supporters and his versatility in different roles for the team this season.
Read part of the defender’s interview below, with the match programme available on Saturday for just £3. The official match programme includes additional content on visitors Accrington Stanley, the latest news from the Port Vale Foundation and Academy and a special Merry Christmas mini-poster from players and staff!
It has been quite the fortnight for Vale defender Dan Jones, who turned 28 on Wednesday, having welcomed his son Theo John Jones into the world with his partner Scarlett last Tuesday (6 December).
Add to that winning your vote for the Reels in Motion Player of the Month award for November and it will without doubt be the most memorable period in the defender’s life to date!
Widely praised for his performances in what is his debut campaign in League One, the former Sunderland youth couldn’t hide his delight when discussing the past few days with the Vale’s official matchday programme.
“It is a fantastic feeling,” Jones said following the birth of Theo. “I can say that at the minute because I am getting some sleep!! It is a different kind of feeling and I can’t wait to see him every day when I get home. Scarlett was amazing and did a great job, I am very proud of her.”
On the award, he continued:
“It feels good to play in front of our fans and for our fans every Saturday and Tuesday. It means a lot; especially after the year I had last year when I played a lot at the start of the season, struggled with injuries and then got my fitness back. It is nice to be back out there putting in performances and people recognising that.
“The month has gone, though, and we have to play for now; the Gaffer isn’t afraid to make changes, and everyone is on board with that, we have so many good players and you have to be at your best to keep your place.”
It is clear speaking to the Bishop Auckland-born defender that he is in a good place both on and off the pitch and he puts that down to the collective efforts by owner Carol Shanahan OBE and the staff to create a positive working environment.
“I think it is the whole place; I love this football club,” Jones said of how much he is enjoying his football. “Everyone around the place is friendly, there isn’t one person you couldn’t go up to and have a conversation with across the whole club.
“The lads are fantastic, everyone gets on, and I think the spirit we have as a team is unbelievable. It is a joy to come in to work every day. A lot of people won’t realise how much effort the staff put in and everything they do for us behind the scenes, but we all appreciate it and pull in the same direction.
“I said to my Mrs the other day that I am just enjoying playing football again; I don’t think about who we are playing, I am just happy to be out on the pitch because I have watched a lot of football over the past few seasons, with injuries and not getting in teams, so when I got my chance I wanted to take it with both hands.
“I think it is the whole place; I love this football club. Everyone around the place is friendly, there isn’t one person you couldn’t go up to and have a conversation with across the whole club." - Dan Jones
“I feel like I have done that, at the minute, but you can’t relax on that, you have to keep going. Saturday [1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers] was a blip for me and the team and hopefully we’ll put that right this Saturday.”