Date: Mon 18 Mar 2019

Managing Wales a ‘career highlight’ says Mark Jones

Wales C travel to Salford City on Tuesday 19th of March to face off against England C in the second annual fixture for Mark Jones and his squad.

We caught up with the Wales ‘C’ manager on camp ahead of his second game in charge of the side.

“To get a positive result on Tuesday night would be absolutely fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to have some good times as a manager in the JD Welsh Premier League and I love my role with Sgorio too, I’m so proud of our system in Wales.

“Managing Wales is absolutely the highlight of my career, and to get a win against England would just cap it all off.”

’We know it is going to be a tough ask.’

Last year’s game at Jenner Park was a 3-2 thriller, with England just coming out on top and taking all three points back across the border with them, and preparations have been going well for this week’s reverse fixture.

A second-half fightback from Wales at Barry last year wasn’t quite enough to see a draw or a win secured in the ‘C’ squad’s first outing, but Jones confesses there was a real feeling of pride at the end of the game from the team regarding the performance.

“I’m really looking forward to the game on Tuesday night at Salford City. It was a great occasion last year down at Jenner Park, where unfortunately we were defeated 3-2, but everybody is here, everyone is ready and training really well – we just can’t wait to get going now.

“We know it is going to be a tough ask once more, their squad is full of National League players – mostly full-time professionals we’re playing against – but we just want to put on a good show for the JD Welsh Premier League to show how much our league has improved.”

’This is a huge game against England and we can’t wait for Tuesday night.’

A huge crowd enjoyed a thrilling fixture at Barry Town United’s Jenner Park last year, and Tuesday’s fixture at Salford City is set to be very popular too, with the match also being shown live on Sgorio’s Facebook page.

The manager reflected on last year’s game and how much players, coaches and fans alike enjoyed the occasion and looked ahead to what he calls a huge game.

“I think the people who played in last year’s game and those who watched it really enjoyed it and felt unanimously that these fixtures should carry on.

“It is a real highlight for all of the players too to be selected to play for Wales, and everybody who is here this weekend is really enjoying it.

“They’ve all expressed just how much they want to play for Wales in their attitudes in training and the efforts they’ve put in – this is a huge game against England and we can’t wait for Tuesday night.”

’This squad is a symbol of how much our Welsh domestic system has improved.’

With 10 of Wales’ domestic clubs represented in the present Wales ‘C’ squad, Jones’ side showcases the best of the players who compete in the Welsh system every week, and the manager argues that the standard of the squad shows just how much the domestic game in Wales has grown.

“I think the standard of the league has increased year after year, whether it be playing standards, the coaches or the facilities – it has all developed so much and helped grow the game in Wales.

“You look at the coaches we have with us on camp, Owain Tudur Jones, Lee Kendall, Dave Adams and more, they’re great coaches who have done an awful lot for the game in Wales.

“The input they’ve given has been brilliant, and this squad is a symbol of how much our Welsh domestic system has grown and improved. The focus now is simply on delivering a positive result on Tuesday night.”

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