At age eight, Henry Jones was scouted by his boyhood club Swansea City. Now 19, the Welsh midfielder is a star in the making at Swansea, and another youth product from South Wales who has the potential to go on to make a big name for himself.
Jones is a central midfielder who uses his wide range of passing ability well, in addition to being a danger from dead ball situations. Recently he demonstrated his prowess by scoring a stunning free kick against Manchester United’s youth team at the Liberty Stadium. Jones also played a starring role in the club’s successful Football Association of Wales (FAW) Youth Cup campaign,where he helped the Swans gain victories over Liverpool and Portsmouth. His sublime performances were rewarded with a one year professional deal as he looks ahead to a bright future in a Swansea City shirt. Jones’s best moment in his short football career so far was representing his country Wales at the under-19 level against Bulgaria.
Of his many idols, two of them were actually playing for Swansea at the same time — Leon Britton and Joe Allen, Jones has always idolized these two players as they are very similar players in their technique, where they have a keen ability to pass the ball with precision whether short or long.
Jones had always dreamt of signing that professional contract, but he played because he loved football, not for the money or the fame that came with his dream job. When Jones was rising through the ranks, every year he would get closer to his dream of becoming a professional footballer and training with the Swansea first team. He just wanted to play football and play for Swansea City in the Premier League.
The first team at Swansea have been open to helping Jones improve. “All of the boys in the first team are great,” said Jones, in an exclusive chat with World Soccer Talk. “They are all easy to get along with too. They give me advice to help me on the pitch, but they also give me advice to help me prepare off it too.”
Jones loves training with the first team even though he gets a little nervous at times. He feels it’s vital to train with international players and he learns every time he trains with them. When Henry gets the chance to train with the senior squad he also gets the chance to impress one of the biggest names in football, Michael Laudrup. Henry admits he learns a lot from the “gaffer” in training as he is still a fantastic player at the young age of 49. He still impresses the first team with his touch, skill and ability.
I believe Jones will develop into a very talented footballer. He has bags of confidence, and is a real “gem” to play with according to many of his teammates. One of Jones’s teammates, Kyle Copp, had this to say about him. “Henry is a great player to play with on the pitch; I look up to Henry who is a good friend of mine too. He is also sublime over the dead ball situation and will always try and make something happen going forward, which is great for me as being a forward, I enjoy Henry playing behind me, creating chances from deep positions.”