Along came Jones

Melville’s signings for 2017 include actor Eric Jones.

As a youth Jones was a member of the Everton Academy, but has now been in New Zealand for seven years, having previously played for Christchurch United, Ranui, Forrest Hill Milford, East Coast Bays and Te Atatu – though in most cases under his birth name.

But Eric – who describes himself as an actor – has requested that he be known exclusively by his nominated stage name of “Jones” during his time at Gower Park (even though for the purposes of team sheets and football registration the midfielder-striker must be formally listed under his birth name).

Most players arriving at Gower Park are eager to talk about their previous football exploits or background.

But not “Jones”.

“I’m just a quiet low-key sort of guy,” he said, in deflecting a host of questions.

“I’m a 31-year-old going on 58, and after five years in Auckland it was time for a change.”

Hopefully he can express himself more eloquently on the football pitch.

“Jones” caught the eye of new Melville co-coach Michael Mayne last season, and he was delighted to bring the Englishman to Gower Park.

“Jones” nominated former Everton youth coach Roy Cook-Hannah (his real name) as his major football influence.

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