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Career ladder: Rob Jones

4 February 2013

Name: Rob Jones
Position: Defender
Date of Birth: 03/11/1979
Club: Doncaster Rovers
Previous Clubs: Whitby Town, Northallerton Town, Spennymoor United, Gateshead, Stockport County, Macclesfield Town (loan), Grimsby Town, Hibernian, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield Wednesday.

What do you remember about your first ever match?
We got beat 1-0, it was the warmest football match I've ever played in, I think some of the lads went off with heat stroke. That was for Stockport County, away at Wycombe Wanderers.

Who was your childhood hero?
David Hirst. I'm a Sheffield Wednesday fan and he was the main man at Wednesday.

When did you realise you had a chance to progress in the game?
More or less when I got a phone call from Carlton Palmer, when I had just finished work. I didn't became a footballer until I was 23. 

Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
There's probably four. Russell Slade was a big influence, Tony Mowbray was a big influence, Gary Megson was a very big influence, and Dean Saunders was a great influence because I'm now in a position that I wasn't in when I came to the football club. It is because of him that I'm in the position I'm in at Doncaster Rovers.

What did you spend your first wage packet on?
I honestly can't remember, it wasn't a lot of money. It was probably gone as quick as it arrived.

Does your squad number have a special meaning to you?
My squad number now is my favourite number and that's number five.

Who did you last swap shirts with?
I don't do swapping shirts, I have no interest in it.

How has the game changed for the better since you became a pro?
I think the off-pitch improvements - like Prozone and the fitness side of game, and the supplements - have gone through the roof. It's a massive part of every football club now. The aftercare of players also far surpasses what it was when I started.

If you could have coached yourself when you were a teenager, what advice would you have passed on?
If you have a dream, don't let anybody or anything get in your way and try as hard as you possibly can to get where you want to be, and be focussed and determined because you only get out of it what you put into it.

If you stay in the game at the end of your career, what will you do? a) Manager b) Coach c) Scout d) Physio e) Pundit?
A manager - in big capital letters!

What do you want to be best remembered for at the end of your career?
A good guy off the pitch, and a very difficult opponent on it.

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