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Luke Jones waiting patiently for pro debut

By Bradley Saxton | 17th February 2022

Young forward Luke Jones says it became a 'dream come true' for him when he was offered his first professional contract with the club last summer.  

The 19-year-old started his career in the club’s academy at U14 level and he has progressed his way through to become a first-year professional at the club.

He is yet to make his professional debut for the club, but so far this season he has been a regular in Tim Ryan’s U19 side in the National League Alliance U19 Academy North. 

He also experienced his first taste of men’s football with a short loan spell at Northern Premier League Division One East side Pickering Town earlier this season, where he scored his first senior goal against Bridlington Town.  

On Wednesday he bagged the winner for the U19s in their 1-0 win over Guiseley, scoring a header with six minutes to go after coming off the bench in the second half.  

Speaking after the game, Jones reflected on how it became a dream come true for him after signing pro-terms with the club last summer.  

“When you’re a kid, you’d wake up and instantly look forward to a Saturday and Sunday where you knew you’d be training and playing with your mates, it’s become a brilliant achievement for myself," said Jones.  

“I’m a York lad, a York fan and it was even a privilege to be able to come on during pre-season against Whitby and put on a York shirt.

“The amount of times I’ve bought a replica shirt when I was a kid in the club shop, whereas now I’m able to put one on for real for the team which is a dream come true. 

“I remember years ago when I was ten or eleven, I had a picture taken of me and Paddy (McLaughlin). 

“Sometimes you think it can’t be real, playing with people you’ve watched for York when your younger and then you end up in training with them every day and being able to have a conversation with them, it’s an unreal feeling.  

“I know that I need to learn and prove myself, you need to make people believe in you that you're capable to do a job and that’s the main goal of mine day-in-day-out.” 

His loan spell at Pickering Town earlier this season was highly beneficial to Jones, helping him understand how tough the men’s game can be.  

Jones added: “I enjoyed my loan spell at Pickering, it was nice to take in a change of scenery and it was nice to get to know a new group of lads. 

“I felt that I needed it, even though I didn’t get as much game time as I had hoped, I felt I needed to go out and learn a bit more about the men’s game. 

“It’s a level where you can’t be selfish in games, you need to work for others and compete against tough opponents.  

“The physicality side of non-league is important, you’ll get knocks and bruises because of the competitiveness, but I feel that the spell at Pickering was really beneficial.” 

Jones is still yet to feature for the first-team this season, but he feels the impact that John Askey has had on the side since his arrival as interim manager has been positive.  

“I’m still yet to feature since the new manager came in, but everything under him so far he been really enjoyable.  

“The training has been intense with John (Askey), he works a lot on technical ability on the ball and fitness.  

“Even with the warm-ups, he’ll have you passing the ball around immediately so it’s good for the lads to get a feel with what he wants from us. 

“Hopefully I can try and impress him and try to get a chance in the team before the end of the season."

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