Captain’s Notes: Jay Jones

Nobody has represented International Surrey Football on more occasions than Jay Jones.

The ISF men’s captain has donned the blue and gold for each of our six matches so far – including both of our recent matches against Chagos Islands.

In this latest instalment of Captain’s Notes, we hear Jay’s honest take on those two defeats, working under a new coach and this weekend’s clash against Maghreb FC…

How do you reflect on the two games against Chagos Islands?

“I think Chagos have grown as a team in the past few years and credit to them for doing that. I can see that they all play with immense pride and passion and I think that’s something we lacked over the two games. They have built a team with the same faces over the years and that is definitely something we should be striving towards.”

You will have been desperate to get the win in the second game after the result in the first one, but it just wasn’t to be…

“Football can be like this, we both learned a lot from the first game and they went away and implemented what they learned better than us. Chagos were deserved winners in both games and we have some work to do as a team.”

You only had a limited number of training sessions ahead of the matches. What did you focus on and how hard was it to go into the games without much time on the training pitch?

“The numbers at training weren’t great, but that was expected with players still playing on Sundays, which is now at quite a high level. The main focus was on getting to know new faces and getting to grips with what our new manager was looking for. Everyone playing should naturally be match fit now we’re at the end of the season but I feel we lacked some sharpness throughout.”

It had been a long time since we last played before the first match against Chagos Islands. How hard was it to pick up after such a long break?

“It’s always easy to get back onto a football pitch because it’s something that we all love. It’s like going home again.”

Is there anything in particular you think we need to work on ahead of our next game?

“It’s difficult for us to work on things in the build up to the next game as we are never sure who’s available at the moment. A majority of our core group have other commitments in football, but once we’re all on the pitch we should be aiming to bond quickly and get a brief understanding of how each other play.”

We play Maghreb this weekend. What are your expectations for the game?

“I’m familiar with many of the Maghreb players – they are nice lads who are extremely talented footballers. They are good both physically and technically, spending a lot of time off the pitch together as well. There’s no weak link in their team so we’re going to have to step up.”

You’ve played in every ISF game so far – six in total. How does it feel to be the leading appearance maker for the team?

“I had a little laugh before the Chagos game because I realised I would have the most appearances. Hopefully this continues with the trust of my manager and teammates. I’m always very proud to represent Surrey and it would be great if we could get a few more players up to five or six appearances.”

Photo credit: Nathanael Osborne

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