Gethin Jones on seeing change at Wanderers and being a role model for young players

·3-min read
Gethin Jones on seeing change at Wanderers and being a role model for young players
Gethin Jones on seeing change at Wanderers and being a role model for young players

Gethin Jones has seen plenty of change since making the move to Wanderers in the summer of 2020.

The Welshman is one of two remaining players from Ian Evatt’s first Bolton line-up along with Ricardo Santos.

Now aiming to build on last season’s ninth-place finish in League One, the club has certainly come a long way over the past couple of years.

“When I came here there were 20-odd new players playing together and it took us time to gel, and we didn’t really kick on until February and we went on that mad run in the end,” said Jones.

“The first season in League One last year was an enjoyable one, one that we still do feel like we could have maybe pushed towards the play-offs, but obviously the circumstances of the squad and it wasn’t as strong as we feel it is now.

“There’s competition for places everywhere in the team and I feel like this season we can really go for it.

“The connection we’ve got with the fans and the amount of season tickets that have been sold already is brilliant, and it just shows the togetherness of this whole club and the community together really.

“We can’t wait to get started and play in front of our own fans on Saturday.”

Jones has gone from strength-to-strength in the wide centre-back role since Evatt opted to switch formation earlier this year.

The defender enjoys still having the freedom to get forward and hopes his experience can benefit the younger members of the squad.

He added: “The way we play, I get to bomb forward as much as I want to as well because when I played full-back or wing-back, I enjoyed doing that.

“I think the gaffer likes me at the back because of my leadership skills. I can see everything on the pitch when I am in that wide centre-back position.

“I can talk to the lads and give advice to the likes of James Trafford, who is still very young even though he has done very well for us. I have enjoyed it.

“We haven’t seen much of Eoin (Toal) yet because he is settling in and stuff. When he gets on the pitch, I will tell him how we like to play and try to give my experience over to them.

“Conor (Bradley) has been really good. He has settled in really well and taken all the advice from all of us, the gaffer. We are really looking forward to seeing how he will do this season.”

The Welshman relishes the opportunity to be a leader and reckons it started when he came though the ranks at Everton.

“When I was in the Under-18s and the reserves and stuff, I was captain for those sides,” he explained. “It is something that I have always taken pride in.

“I like to give advice on the pitch and help other players out, not just concentrate on myself. I like to communicate on the pitch about how we can do better as a team. It is one thing I have taken with me through the years really.

“I have had some bad experiences at clubs, some good experiences at other clubs as well. I just take it all in on how I want to achieve more with this club really.”