Jones looking for his chance
Wednesday 14 November 2012 12:53 PM
Players often talk about the sacrifices that they’ve made to chase their dreams of rugby league stardom, however few compare to the sacrifices that Scott Jones has had to make.
Prior to starring for Mounties in the NSW Cup, Jones was residing in Western Australia with his wife and young daughter and playing park football.
Knowing the burning desire that Jones has had for his entire life to play in the NRL, his wife urged Jones to move back to Sydney in search of greater opportunities.
“My wife said to me one day that I should come back to Sydney because I’d been there once before and that there are more opportunities in rugby league there,” said Jones.
“She said that she didn’t want me to leave any stone unturned when it came to fulfilling my dream. I guess this is my last shot at redemption really and the best shot I have of making the NRL.”
“Leaving my family there is a big sacrifice but its part and parcel of what I’m trying to achieve. I speak to my wife and daughter every day and we just make do with what we have.”
“It was a massive sacrifice but in the long run it has sort of paid off for me. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have been able to come down here and train alongside everyone here at the Raiders.”
Jones was one of the top performers in the NSW Cup for Mounties where he was able to test his wares week in, week out, against players who have had experience in the NRL.
“This year has been great for me personally; being able to come against players that have played first grade before. That experience has definitely developed my game.”
“At first it was a shock to the system because it was a lot tougher and a lot faster than what I’ve been used to in previous years. I was just playing park football in Western Australia. It’s still a strong competition for domestic football but it’s obviously a lot less professional than the NSW Cup.”
The goal kicking back-rower’s brilliant efforts were rewarded with a pre-season contract with the Canberra Raiders and a chance to force his way into the fulltime squad.
“It’s a bit daunting coming down here but being invited to come down and trial has given me a big confidence boost knowing how far I’ve come. I’ve just got to keep my head down now and keep punching forward and keep doing the best that I can for the club and for myself.”
“Pre-season has been pretty tough so far. I’m just trying to get my head around all the different calls that they have here but I’m definitely trying to make the best of this situation.”
“The intensity is much higher than what it is in the NSW Cup but I’m enjoying the challenge. Everyone dreams of coming down here and trialling with these guys so I plan on making the most of this opportunity.”
Jones along with Mounties Captain Pat Galea who is also down trialling, are shining examples of the alternative pathways afforded to players who do not come through the traditional junior representative programs.
“There’s always a window of opportunity no matter how old you are. The relationship between Mounties and Raiders has just been massive for me and several other players.”
The fact that Jones has travelled from one side of the country to the other for this opportunity ensures that he will no doubt make the most of it.
Whether or not Jones makes it through to the NRL is irrelevant though. His family back home is sure to be glowing with pride at Jones’ brave sacrifice to just chase his dream.