Nathan Jones (Welsh footballer)
Jones with Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014
|Full name||Nathan Jason Jones|
|Date of birth||28 May 1973|
|Place of birth||Ystrad Rhondda, Wales|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Playing position||Left back / Midfielder|
|Luton Town (manager)|
|1998||→ Exeter City||6||(1)|
|1999||→ Scarborough (loan)||9||(0)|
|2000–2005||Brighton & Hove Albion||159||(7)|
|2014||Brighton & Hove Albion (caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Jones' first professional club was Luton Town which he joined, for £10,000, in the summer of 1995 after playing for the Welsh non-League team Merthyr Tydfil. Jones left Kenilworth Road to play in the Spanish leagues for a number of seasons. He played for Spanish club Numancia, and after a short spell moved on to CD Badajoz in the Segunda División.
Jones returned to the United Kingdom to play for Southend United in 1997. He spent three seasons at Southend, including two loans, at Scarborough in the 1998–99 season where he was part of the team relegated by Jimmy Glass' memorable goal for Carlisle United, and Exeter City in the 1997–98 season respectively. He moved to Brighton & Hove Albion where he made over 100 appearances during his five seasons at the club.
Jones moved to Yeovil Town in 2005 and established himself as a member of the first-team. His seven-year association with the club included captaining the team at Wembley Stadium for the 2007 Football League One play-off Final, resulting in a 2–0 defeat to Blackpool.
Jones started his FA Level Three Coaching Badge in the summer of 2008, and became first-team coach of Yeovil Town Ladies from November 2007, alongside manager Steve Phelps and assistant manager Nigel Wolfe.
On 18 February 2009, Jones was confirmed as player-assistant manager of Yeovil, alongside player-manager Terry Skiverton. Following Skiverton's replacement by Gary Johnson, Jones was demoted to the role of first-team coach.
On 1 June 2012, Jones left Yeovil Town after seven years and having played 211 matches for the club by mutual consent.
Brighton & Hove Albion
On 19 July 2013, Jones joined Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion, filling the new position of assistant head coach, working under head coach Óscar García. Following Oscar's departure from Brighton and the appointment of new manager Sami Hyypiä, Jones changed roles and became Brighton's first-team coach. After Hyypia's resignation on 22 December 2014, Jones was appointed as caretaker manager. Following Chris Hughton's appointment as manager on 31 December 2014, Jones moved back to his role as assistant manager. On 3 February 2015, after the appointment of Colin Calderwood as Hughton's assistant manager, Jones was demoted to the role of first-team coach.
On 6 January 2016, Jones left his role as first-team coach with Brighton to become the new manager of League Two club Luton Town on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He won 11 of his 21 matches in charge during the remainder of 2015–16, guiding the club away from the danger of relegation to an 11th-place finish.
Jones made wholesale changes to Luton's squad ahead of 2016–17, releasing 12 players and signing eight new ones. Jones' Luton team spent only one week of the season outside the top seven positions, while he also led the club to the semi-final of the EFL Trophy. He signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the club on 20 March 2017. Luton finished the 2016–17 season in fourth place, but were beaten 6–5 on aggregate by Blackpool in the play-off semi-final, meaning they would compete the 2017–18 season in League Two again.
Jones stated his ambition to go one step further and win promotion to League One in 2017–18, saying: "This year we can't have excuses, can't have that naivety about us, can't allow teams to nick draws and cost us our ultimate goal." His summer recruitment was focused on signing experienced players who had previously won promotion, and he succeeded in doing this when signing Alan McCormack, James Collins and Marek Štěch. Luton began the season with an 8–2 home win over Yeovil Town to set a club record for their biggest margin of victory on the opening day of a season. Jones was named the League Two Manager of the Month for October 2017 after Luton recorded three wins, one draw and one defeat, including a 7–1 home victory over Stevenage. He would go on to win the award for the second successive month, in which Luton achieved three wins in four league matches, including a 7–0 home win over Cambridge United, scoring 14 goals to climb to the top of the table on goal difference. Luton's win over Cambridge meant they became the first team in the history of the English Football League to score seven or more goals on three occasions before Christmas. They were also the highest-scoring team in the country in early December with 63 goals in all competitions, one more than Manchester City who were top of the Premier League. Jones was nominated for League Two Manager of the Month for the third month in succession, which was awarded to Danny Cowley of Lincoln City. Luton topped the table until a 2–1 home defeat to Accrington Stanley in March 2018 saw them drop to second place for the first time since 21 November 2017, behind Accrington. The club did, however, win promotion to League One on 21 April 2018 after a 10-year absence following a 1–1 draw away to Carlisle United. A week later, they secured a second-place finish in the table with a 3–1 home victory over Forest Green Rovers. After four wins and one draw in April, Jones was named the League Two Manager of the Month for the third time in 2017–18.
Jones is a devout Christian who credits his faith with getting him through bad times.
"It keeps you grounded. There's a lot of temptations, a lot of pitfalls nowadays, especially for a sportsman – and I think through God's guidance I've been able to steer clear of them. Through the hard times I've always had the stability of the Lord in my life and my family background has kept me on the straight and narrow."
Jones is bilingual, able to speak both English and Spanish.
- As of match played 22 September 2018
|Brighton & Hove Albion (caretaker)||22 December 2014||31 December 2014||2||1||1||0||50.0|||
|Luton Town||6 January 2016||Present||147||72||40||35||49.0|||
As a player
Brighton & Hove Albion
As a manager
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
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- Simmonds, Mike (7 August 2017). "In numbers: Records tumble as Luton hammer Glovers". Luton Today. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Simmonds, Mike (9 November 2017). "Jones wins Manager of the Month award". Luton Today. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Luton Town 7–1 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 14 October 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Nathan Jones: Luton Town boss lands Manager of the Month prize for second month in a row". ITV News. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Simmonds, Mike (21 November 2017). "Jones: Hitting seven for the third time is no fluke". Luton Today. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Luton Town: The team that have outscored Manchester City this season". BBC Sport. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Simmonds, Mike (9 January 2018). "Third successive nomination for Hatters boss Jones". Luton Today. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Derby County pair Gary Rowett and Scott Carson win Sky Bet Championship December awards". Sky Sports. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Brodie, Alex (22 March 2018). "Luton Town: What's gone wrong for League Two promotion favourites?". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Simmonds, Mike (21 April 2018). "Luton seal promotion to League One with Carlisle draw". Luton Today. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Luton Town 3–1 Forest Green Rovers". BBC Sport. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Simmonds, Mike (4 May 2018). "Jones wins his 'favourite' Manager of the Month award so far". Luton Today. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Faith is the key for Yeovil's Nathan Jones". BBC Somerset. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "Nathan Jones". Faith and Football. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "10 things to know about Nathan Jones". Luton Town F.C. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Managers: Nathan Jones". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- Nathan Jones at Soccerbase