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There was something of a reaction from Burnley fans when they learned that David Jones was back training with us in pre-season after he’d been released by his previous club Sheffield Wednesday.

The very mention of Sheffield Wednesday should be enough to confirm that the player in question is the central midfielder who played a big part in our 2013/14 and 2015/16 promotions and not the striker who came onto the pitch four times during the 1989/90 season.

1516 burnley david jones 00 630x420Jonah was without a club so he joined us for pre-season, played in some of the games and, despite him spending some time in pre-season with another Lancashire club, he’s still in training at Burnley as the search goes on for a new club.

Speaking to The Athletic in the last week, Jones said: “It’s tough mentally to keep giving 100 per cent every day knowing you haven’t got a game on Saturday and that you haven’t got a contract anywhere, so it is mentally challenging at times.”

Once a regular at Hillsborough, playing for Carlos Carvalhal, he was frozen out by Jos Luhukay last season and played in only two games making his exit inevitable.

“I knew I was out of contract at Sheffield Wednesday,” he added. “So in the six weeks you are off, my agent was trying to find a club to sign with because that would have been ideal, to get a full pre-season with the new club. That didn’t happen so, as it was coming towards the end of June, I phoned Sean. I’ve obviously worked with him before and we still sent the odd text to each other in the three years I’ve been away from the club. He was happy for me to come in and train and they’ve been brilliant. It’s a great place to get fit. I knew from working with them before that they are one of the fittest teams in the league, so it was good for me to spend a whole pre-season there and get up to speed.

“I’ve only had moments where I had been frustrated. My wife is brilliant at keeping me positive about the situation. She’s schooled me over the years with the mental side of things. She helps me with that. She can read me like a book, so she knows the frustration and she knows what she is doing.”

The 2018/19 season was not a good one for him. “It was a difficult time,” he admitted. “Another challenge to keep going and keep training hard every day and stay fit. It was a disappointing end because I still felt I had something to give.

“I still feel I want to play at as high a standard as possible, so that’s a key thing. In football, as you get older the opportunities sometimes aren’t there straight away, and even when you are younger, but you have to keep that desire and mentality to want to play, which is still there for me. It can be tough at times, but I just have to keep going. It’s not ‘the Championship at all costs’, if there is a club lower down that I feel is suitable and they want me, I’d take it.”

Jones signed for Burnley on a free transfer in the summer of 2013 and went on to make over 130 appearances for us, the last of which was on the opening day of the 2016/17 season at home against Swansea. Just a few days later he left for Sheffield Wednesday and was there for three years until he found himself without a club at the end of last season.

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