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Jodi Jones: A New Hope for Notts County

I’m sure I wasn’t alone among the Magpie faithful in having somewhat mixed emotions when Notts announced the loan signing of Jodi Jones.

On one hand, our track record of players dropping divisions to don the famous black and white stripes has seldom been successful. On the other hand, I recall a player who tore us apart on the opening day of the 2017 season and also played against us in the more recent play-off defeat.

When Jodi joined on loan, I was also conscious that we had not long signed John Bostock on an 18-month contract and were yet to see his emergence as a Notts player, which ultimately would lead to his imperious performance in the play-off final. So there was a tiny but genuine flicker of concern in my mind, wondering if we’d repeated the David Vaughan and Harry Arter fiascos?

His signing too came at a time when we were flying in the league and Adam Chicksen was running riot down the left-hand side, scoring for fun. My primary thoughts were: do we really need him? Would fitness be an issue? Will he have the desire to tough it out in non-league football? Reasonable questions I feel when you look at his career to date.

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Like many players, his career path has not been a linear one. Obviously blessed with plenty of natural ability which allowed him to make such early progress in the game. A league debut at 17 and a subsequent transfer to Coventry at 19 on a four-year deal tells you that those in the know felt he had real potential. Seven years on from his debut, he has only made just over 100 league appearances in a career hampered by injury and a lengthy period out due to cruciate ligament damage. In fact, his 16 appearances on loan at Notts outweigh his total league appearances in the previous three seasons.

Only those who’ve experienced lengthy lay-offs from professional sport know how difficult it is to overcome not just the physical but also the mental challenges required to return to the fray. Importantly, what is apparent in his interviews is his determination to overcome his past setbacks and resurrect his career not just for himself but also for his family, who he credits for their continuing support.

With the ink dry on his contract and the benefit of seeing his loan appearances, now seems a good time to assess what Jodi brings to Meadow Lane.

Firstly, I’m sure the harmonic atmosphere that pervades at Meadow Lane these days will have played some part in Jodi’s decision to sign for Notts. Ignoring the success on the field and the play-off win, from what I hear and read in the media, it appears a place where players enjoy their football, and I’m sure that cannot be underestimated, particularly when a player is looking to reignite his career.

What we have seen to date is a player used sensibly by Luke Williams, allowing him to become comfortable and confident within the squad and our style of play. Rightly he’s had to wait for opportunities which he has embraced and taken when offered.

He brings to the team real quality in terms of his ability when in possession. He has excellent close ball control which, along with his low centre of gravity and balance, he uses to unsettle defenders. Watching him drop his shoulders, jinking left and right puts me in mind of Stevie Carter for those old enough to remember. Allied to that though he doesn’t have the explosive pace of the likes of Nemane that close ball control and manipulation allows him to create space to deliver crosses. He knows it is not always necessary to beat a man to get crosses into the box; merely creating space for delivery is enough and something he excels at. Importantly I think there is a significant difference also in the quality of his crossing than we see most weeks. He doesn’t appear just to cross the ball; I sense he has greater awareness of other players’ movement and the type of delivery needed.

Ultimately what I like most about him is his bravery; I say that not particularly with respect to his recovery from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Don’t miss out on the chance to own a limited signed A4 print featuring Jodi Jones! Check out the Pride of Nottingham to get yours while stocks last.

Exciting news for Jodi Jones fans! He’s been called up to the Malta team as they prepare to play the Three Lions. Read all about it and show your support for Jodi!

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The signing of Jodi Jones was a pleasant surprise for me. Despite not being fully familiar with his injury history, I had a strong feeling that he would bring tremendous value to the team. Whilst Wrexham fans became excited about signing ex-Palmer League keeper, Ben Foster, at the age of 40? It was a good signing, but in comparison Jodi gave us an edge we needed to go forward.

I think it was a very smart decision to bring him in and, whilst I initially felt like we needed to make it known to him that we would like to retain him. It wasn't until he kindly signed my prints, that I realised just how much he liked being at Meadow Lane.

It's good to see players with a smile on their faces, even when struggling because it's a sign of confidence and also that they're still in the game and haven't given up.

Against Boreham Wood, the moment he came on he had that smile and tried to influence the play. Likewise, in the playoff final against Chesterfield. He seemed a bit cautious when he stepped up for the penalty, but his reaction after and in the celebrations was great.

Going back to the opening day of the 2017 season, I made the trip to Coventry and sat watching him rip us apart. As he did in the playoffs against Coventry. He's not a super sub, although he does well. He's a promotion hero if anything!

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Jodi Jones was Coventry’s key man against us every time we played them. You could see he shined around good players, and we now offer him the chance to revive his career, which I believe he has taken and ran with. Jodi Jones is a great addition to the team.

He has shown his worth in the recent play-off defeat, and I’m sure he will continue to do so. His pace and skill on the ball make him a real threat going forward, and he has already scored some important goals for us this season. I’m excited to see what he can do in the future.

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It must be hard for the players to respond to setbacks but good players do manage to find their way. Restarting his career again at Notts showed how much of a waste Oxford were to not make the most out of his services. I agree with @Chris that he’s a promotion hero. So glad he signed for us!

Jodi Jones is a fantastic player and I’m glad he’s on our side now. He has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see what he can do. His dribbling skills are exceptional and he has the ability to beat defenders with ease. He has already shown glimpses of his talent this season and I think he will only get better as he settles into the team.

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I remember watching the games against Coventry and thinking how great it would be to have a young player like Jodi Jones in our squad. He played with such flair and ambition and was a menace on the ball. His goals were skillfully crafted and I think our players hated playing against him. He was a joy to watch.

Jodi Jones looked like he instantly fitted in with Notts. Sometimes you get players who come and don’t give their all, but I think he took his chance. I don’t know if he signed for Notts thinking this is where he could push on with his career or if he just saw it as a good chance to attract interest once his deal expired. Regardless, I am glad he signed for us and nobody else. He’s a big coup and will be a massive player for Notts in League Two.

He is a talented player and I’m excited to see him play more for Notts County. He has already shown that he can make an impact on games with his pace and skill on the ball. He seems to have settled into the team well and I think he will only get better as he gets more game time.

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This is a good write-up. I think Notts work quite well with players with pre-existing injuries. Jodi Jones shows no fear of being taken out, which is a positive thing because I wouldn’t blame him considering his issues. I wouldn’t like to be clattered and experience issues again, yet it just goes to show how much he desires to be a good player for the club.

We know what qualities Jodi has. We have a squad full of talent that teams should struggle to mark, but this for me will be the best signing come the end of the season if the last campaign is anything to go by.

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We know from his days at Coventry that Jodi Jones is a good player. Why it didn’t work out at Oxford United, I can’t say, but it’s been our gain. I think he’s the type of player who prefers to enjoy his football and settle into a club. In a few years’ time, he could go from being a promotion hero to a club legend if he helps us back up to League One.

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I think Jodi Jones would be playing with Coventry if it were not for his problems in the injury department; they must have found it difficult to release him. Oxford United might not fit his playing style; you have to be a good ball-playing team to get the most out of someone like Jodi. He is one of those players who puts their soul into playing, especially when fans sing his name. He has a very good talent and will be someone we need to protect and use well when adapting to League Two.

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i only saw jodi jones play in the playoff games and i thought he was ace, he looked way better than league two standard. i thought he would become a hot property in the championship and shoot from there, but its unfortunate that an injury derailed his career. hes found a club where he can re build. i think he could become a bigger legend at notts than at coventry. his help in the national league has helped this, he played a massive part in that.

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This is a brilliant write up regarding Jodi by Les Bradd.

I don't think I can add much more to what has already been said, by every contributor on this very good thread.

What I will add is my hope that Jodi remains injury free & just carries on playing how he is playing, because he's becoming a key player for us.



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