WaiBOP United is pleased to announce that Mark Jones has signed for a third ASB Premiership season with WaiBOP United.
Mark, with 29 WaiBOP United games under his belt during the previous two summers, has made the most ASB Premiership appearances for the franchise, and signs after a stellar winter season for Hamilton Wanderers. Scoring fifteen goals from midfield, Mark has been one of the catalysts behind Wanderers’ rise to second in the Northern Regional Football League Premier Division.
Signing on for another summer was a natural move, explained Mark. “We had a good group last season and came so close to making the play-offs, which isn’t something a team from this region has done for a while. I hope I can play a part in helping us take that extra step in what’s shaping up to be a strong league.”
Mark has a wry smile when asked how it feels to be considered a senior player. “I guess that’s right because I’ve been around for a while, but that status also comes with a bit of responsibility and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ll just go out there and do my thing and look to help the team win games. We all need to be leaders if we’re going to be successful against the likes of Auckland City and Team Wellington.”
Several fond memories come to mind for Mark when he looks back to the 2014/15 ASB Premiership. “The home wins over Canterbury and Wellington were excellent, not only for the results but also for the support we had from the fans,” he recalls. “That Canterbury game was crazy. To come from behind three times [Jones scored the third equaliser] then win in added time…
“Hopefully we’ll have a bit more of that this summer, although it might not be ideal for Peter’s heart rate. I can’t wait to play on FMG Stadium Waikato, as well as run out in an ASB Premiership match in Taupo.”
Mark is a Taupo lad, having attended school in the central North Island town, and began his senior football career at Taupo AFC.
WaiBOP United Head Coach, Peter Smith, is delighted with the signing of Mark, saying that his consistency in previous seasons helped make him one of the team’s best performers. “Mark has played exceptionally well for us in previous seasons and was arguably our most consistent performer, week in, week out, last summer,” said Smith. “He has backed that up with a fantastic season for Wanderers. Mark is maturing into a top class player who can cause other teams problems and win you games. That’s what we’ll be looking for from him this season.”
Further player signings will be announced in the coming days.