Jodi Jones: From Tears to Triumph
Malta winger Jodi Jones is preparing for a European Championship qualifier against England, the country he was born and raised in, but now plays against. It’s an emotional moment for the 25-year-old who grew up supporting England and has vivid memories of watching them play.
The Struggle with Injuries
Jones’ career was almost over before it even began due to three anterior cruciate ligament injuries that kept him out of action for years. He spent a total of 897 days on the sidelines, missing 130 games between November 2017 and August 2021. Despite these setbacks, he refused to give up on his dream of becoming a footballer.
The third time he suffered an injury was particularly devastating as it happened on his right knee after having already undergone surgery twice on his left knee. However, despite feeling immense pain, he remained positive about his recovery.
“My mind was telling me I was OK,” said Jones. “I couldn’t even cry. The two years before I cried so much; I’d run out of tears.”
Risking it All
Choosing to play for Malta rather than waiting for an opportunity from England or other top teams came with risks but ultimately proved to be the right decision for Jones.
“It was a tough time for me,” said Jones reflecting on this period in his life when everything seemed uncertain. “All I ever wanted to be was a footballer so seeing my dream nearly come to an end was obviously the hardest period of my life.”
Rebirth with Notts County
Jones’ career took a turn for the better when he joined Notts County. He played a pivotal role in their promotion from the National League last season, and his stunning performance earned him a place on Malta’s national team.
“It was like turning the tap on but no water came out,” said Jones about how he felt during his long injury layoff. “What haunted me most was seeing people who would say stuff like ‘he was going to be the next big thing’ or people themselves saying that they were good but this or that let them down.”
Jones is looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting future with both club and country. His inspirational story shows that despite setbacks, it’s possible to achieve your dreams if you’re willing to work hard and stay positive.