Our Rich Jones series continues...
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Playford and that was largely down to the culture Rich set within the first team. We were always competitive but never sacrificed enjoyment and a positive team spirit.
Arguably I'm a little biased, but Rich and my partnership was consistent and very solid. We complimented each other well and were on the same page more often than not. Ball playing centre halves; we started that trend…
I was definitely quicker than Rich and more of a threat in the opposition’s box. But, he was the king of 'your mum' jokes.
I'm looking forward to our 'An Evening With...' events.
Rest up, Legend.
Where to start with a tribute to Rich?
When I joined Playford way back in 2009 he was mainly deployed in centre mid, but soon transitioned to centre back. It was from the back where Rich supplied me with so many chances and goals over the years. Every time Rich received the ball in our own half I would set off on a run down the channel, knowing that he had the range of passing to find me virtually every time.
When he took over from Chris as first team manager Rich always showed great faith in me and his selfless nature as a leader is well illustrated by a game against Martlesham Wanderers in 2011. We were 5-1 up when we were awarded a penalty late on. I was on 2 goals and was offered the penalty to complete my hattrick. For some reason I was reluctant and turned it down, but Rich (despite being the penalty taker) insisted I should take it and gave me the confidence to take it on. Unfortunately it was a terrible penalty which the ‘keeper saved, but it meant a lot to an 18-year old me to have been backed!
Rich can look back upon so many great moments in a Playford shirt but my personal favourite was his outrageous goal from kick-off against Kitchener Taverners. We only had 9 players and lined up with 2 banks of 4 and no strikers and were up against it all game, but from one kick off Rich spotted the keeper off his line and pinged it perfectly over his head.
Rich, it has been a pleasure playing with you all these years and I wish you all the best in your retirement!
My main memory of playing with Rich;
Him scoring direct from kick off, right into the top corner, when I think we only had 9 or 10 men against a very good team and I went in goal!!
It was the best goal I ever saw for Playford!