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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 08:04 GMT
Jones brings new maturity to Wales
Matthew Jones
Wales v Bosnia-Herzegovina | International friendly | Wednesday, 12 February | Millennium Stadium, Cardiff | Kick-off 1945 GMT

Live on BBC 2 Wales, 2W, Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and Sport Interactive

Wales and Leicester midfielder Matthew Jones has a remarkable assessment on the 12 months of hell he has endured since rupturing cruciate ligaments in his right knee.

"I'm glad that the injury happened to me," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"I've learnt so much about football and about life. I've grown up. In the past things have been taken for granted, but now I want to push on."

Club and country will be glad to have the talented 24-year-old back in the fold and he is sure to give a fresh impetus to both squads.

I've found out about myself and what level I can get to

Matthew Jones
Wales manager Mark Hughes has nothing but praise for his player: "Matt's had a difficult period but has shown a lot of positive thinking and applied himself well," he said.

It has been a frustrating time for Jones, watching Hughes' men from the sidelines as the team have gone on one of the most successful runs that Wales has ever seen.

"I've been the team's biggest fan over the past year. To see what they've achieved is incredible.

"But it's not the same being in the stand!

"It's great to be back with your friends and your team.

"It's an end to a long, hard journey - 12 months out of football, 18 months out of the international game.

"I'm confident in where I'm going. I've found out about myself and what level I can get to."


See also:

10 Feb 03 | Wales
11 Feb 03 | Wales
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