Jodi Jones: Playing England at Wembley & being L2 assists king

Jodi Jones is on course for a record-breaking campaign in League Two.

In January alone, the Malta international registered six assists, four of which came in a 5-5 draw away at Grimsby.

“I’m not too sure how it’s happened to be honest,” he tells Sky Sports after picking up the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award.

Jodi Jones Notts County
Jodi Jones has had a fruitful campaign so far for Notts County.

“I can only thank my team-mates. The way we work and the things we do allow me to get the ball and put it into dangerous areas. When you’ve got players like McGoldrick, Langstaff, Crowley and Nemane getting on the end of them, you know you’ve got a chance of getting loads of assists.”

His tally currently stands at 18, already breaking the League Two record for most in a campaign. It is still only February.

Not only does he have the most assists in the country, but also comes out on top when compared to players in the top-five European leagues. Jones, however, only smiles when he is compared with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne.

“People like him are a different level,” he says. “I need to be careful because he’s back from injury now and could catch me in a couple of weeks!

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between Grimsby and Notts County

“A target that I set myself is to get as many assists as possible so hopefully I can keep that up.”

It hasn’t always been record numbers for Jones, who suffered a myriad of injuries before arriving at Notts County, including three anterior cruciate ligament injuries in as many years.

“I owe a lot to Coventry City and all of the staff there,” he says. “They believed in me and gave me a platform to return to football when I was out. Also, to Notts County who took a risk on a player with bad injuries.

“When I get on a good run of form I don’t get too far ahead of myself, because you know you can get hit with a setback, I try to stay level-headed.”

Despite being born in east London, Jones represents Malta at international level, and took to the pitch against England in a European qualifier at Wembley last year.

“When I left Coventry, I wasn’t playing too much and Malta were sending me a few messages. They were supporting me and wanted me to play,” he says.

Jodi Jones Malta Notts County
Jodi Jones represents Malta’s national team

I have been really enjoying it and playing against England was an amazing experience, especially to play in my home city.

Jones was also on the opposing side to a former team-mate of his at Coventry under the Wembley arch, in the shape of James Maddison.

“We were speaking before the first game in Malta about him getting called up and he deservedly did,” says Jones.

“It was a good feeling playing against a friend and playing against England. Being from the country and the majority of my family being from here just made that day something I will never forget.

“It’s up there as one of my greatest achievements, walking on to the pitch before was a feeling that I have never felt. There are plenty of other moments so I’m not sure where it ranks, but it is definitely up there.”

Another proud moment of Jones’ career came in the National League play-offs last season. His 120th-minute semi-final winner sent Notts County to Wembley as they beat Boreham Wood, and they then went on to beat Chesterfield to secure a return to the EFL after four years away.

Jodi Jones Notts County
Jodi Jones has amassed 17 assists for Notts County so far this season

“That moment made all the rehab worthwhile,” he reflects. “It wiped out all of the injury nightmares and made me feel so proud. There were so many times I could have crumbled, but that moment made me feel happy to have carried on.”

The momentum Notts County gained from promotion has carried into this season. They sit 10th in League Two and are eyeing back-to-back promotions. Jones sees no reason why the club can’t go on and achieve promotion this season.

“Without being too biased I think we’re the best team in the league,” he says. “The way we play is something I really enjoy. We have been unlucky in some games and we’re still working on things but with these players, we do need to get promoted. It’s something I believe will happen.”

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