FC Isle of Man crest

PLAYER PROFILE: Frank Jones

Club captain Frank Jones has been playing for the club since the very beginning and was the scorer of our very first competitive goal vs Maine Road. We recently had a quick 10 minutes with Frank to discuss his journey into football and local records he still holds.

Was your route into football the usual play at school and join a local side?
I did play football in school and around the streets like every kid, but my main sport was motocross from age 4 to 16 racing every weekend either here on island or away in England. As I got closer to 16 say around 14, football did start to take over my motocross, around 16/17 I give up the bikes to play football most weekends. I still have a bike now which I ride very rarely. But motocross give me a great childhood.

So, is trials bikes something that you might go back to after football ends, or would you want to get more into the coaching side of things football wise?
I would really like my two boys to race motocross because I know how much I loved and enjoyed it as a kid. If they do get into racing, I will be back around it but I really like to get into coaching side of football when I finally retire. I done a season last year helping St Mary’s while I rehabbed and really enjoyed it.

When the concept of FCIOM was first discussed were you involved at all, and what did you think about it?
To be honest, when it came around, I couldn’t quite believe it. It was talked about for years and years about a Manx team playing in the English pyramid. Even up to that very first game it just sounded too good to be true but fair play to Paul Jones and everyone else involved to dig this out the ground and look after 2.5 season how big it’s got hopefully it just grows and grows now.

What do you remember of the build up to the first game against Maine Road?
The one word I would use to describe about that very first game was excited. Everyone was finally going to see a Manx side play on the English pyramid.

The game itself must hold so many mixed emotions for you?
Yes it holds really mixed emotions, like you say amazing moments and a very low moment. Scoring
inside the first 15/20mins the first ever FC goal. To then snap my ACL between 20/25min is crazy. (Game
really did have everything for me in that short 25mins). I knew it was bad straight away as am never
injured. Been very lucky with that all these years. But I have had both ACL done now. Right knee at 16, left knee at 33.

Once the injury was diagnosed, what were yourthoughts? It must have taken some enormous mental strength to get back to fitness & playing, what kept you going?
Yes the injury was really tough because after my MRI and speaking to the doctor my best bet was to
strengthen and rehab to get back playing around 5/6 months time, meaning I don’t miss the first full
season. Fast forward to Christmas that season I thought I had done it. Then back in full training I
snapped it completely maybe 2/3 weeks before declaring myself fit for a match. Surgery and a full
ACL reconstruction happened then. FC helped me a lot though, as it give me that goal to rehab and get backon the pitch. More to prove a lot of people I heard saying “he won’t do it or won’t get back to playing for FC because age and bad injury” that made me determined to do it more and more. I just want to call it a day when I want not due to an injury.

You were part of the record breaking St Georges teams that swept the local trophy board. How do you think that team would have fared in NWCFL?
I played in a great St. George’s team, I think they would do very well in this league, but again, it’s hard
to say without it happening or seeing it. The squad we have now and the younger lads coming through are amazing and I can’t wait to see this team in 5/6 years.

Tell us about the unique record you hold in Manx Football, which is likely to stand for ever?
I have the record for winning 7 Railways cup finals in a row and scoring at least 1 goal in every final. (7
finals with 10 goals) I think before I done this Neil Shimmin had it with 3 for Rushen.

Quickfire Questions with Frank Jones
Podcast with Sean Doyle & Frank Jones