Gethin Jones on seeing change at Wanderers and being a role model for young players
Gethin Jones has seen a lot of changes since joining Wanderers in the summer of 2020.
The Welshman is one of two remaining players in Ian Evatt’s Bolton first team along with Ricardo Santos.
Now aiming to build on last season’s ninth-place finish in Ligue 1, the club have certainly come a long way in the past two years.
“When I got here there were about 20 new players playing together and it took us a while to gel, and we only really started in February and we ended up having this mad dash to the end,” Jones said.
“The first season in Ligue 1 last year was nice, a season that we still think maybe we could have pushed into the play-offs, but obviously the circumstances of the team and it wasn’t as strong as we feel it is now.
“There is competition for places all over the team and I think this season we can really go for it.
“The connection we have with the fans and the number of season tickets that have already been sold is brilliant, and it really shows the unity of this whole club and community together.
“We can’t wait to get started and play in front of our own fans on Saturday.”
Jones has gone from strength to strength in the wide centre-back role since Evatt opted to change formation earlier this year.
The defender always likes having the freedom to move forward and hopes his experience can benefit the younger members of the squad.
He added: “The way we play, I can also bomb as much as I want because when I was playing back or back I liked to do that.
“I think the gaffer likes me at the back because of my leadership skills. I can see everything on the pitch when I’m in this wide central defender position.
“I can talk to the guys and give advice to people like James Trafford, who is still very young even though he did very well for us. I appreciated it.
“We haven’t seen much of Eoin (Toal) yet because he’s settling in and stuff. When he’s on the pitch, I’ll tell him how we like to play and try to pass on my experience to them.
“Conor (Bradley) was really good. He settled in very well and took all the advice from all of us, the gaffer. We can’t wait to see how he does this season.
The Welshman relishes the opportunity to be a leader and believes it started when he came to Everton.
“When I was in the under-18s and the reserves, I was captain of those teams,” he explained. “It’s something I’ve always been proud of.
“I like giving advice on the pitch and helping other players, not just focusing on myself. I like communicating on the pitch about how we can do better as a team. It’s really something that I have carried with me over the years.
“I’ve had bad experiences at clubs, good experiences at other clubs as well. I just take it all on how I really want to achieve more with this club.