Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
Jones begins to show his talent
David Jones hopes his winning goal against Crystal Palace will be the first of many in Derby County colours. The 22-year-old scored in Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship game against Crystal Palace to earn the Rams their eighth win in nine games. Jones was delighted with the strike - but equally pleased that Derby picked up three more points to further consolidate second spot. 'It was good to get off the mark today but it was more important to get the three points,' Jones told the Rams official web site. "I've had a few starts now and it was nice to get the goal, but I'm not looking to settle at that.
"I want to get a few goals and help the team to push on if possible.
"I know I am capable of scoring goals and I feel I was a bit more of a goal threat today.
"That is what I'm looking to do each game - get more opportunities and more goals."
Jones signed for Manchester United as an apprentice on July 2 2001, and broke into the Under-19 side in late 2002, where he was soon made captain. He went on to make 18 appearances as the U19`s progressed to the final of the prestigious FA Youth Cup in April 2003, where a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the second leg saw him lift the trophy at Old Trafford.
The talented squad at Old Trafford made the chances of first team appearances for Jones very rare, but in the following season Jones was promoted to the reserve team, where he quickly established himself as a regular in the heart of midfield. He was called up to the England Under-21 squad before the end of the campaign. Although qualified to play for Wales, David opted to play for England and made what was to be his only appearance for the Under 21 side in a 2-2 away draw with Sweden on March 30 2004, coming on as a second-half substitute.
He finally appeared in his first senior game for the club on 1 December 2004, coming on as a late substitute as United beat Arsenal 1-0 at home to progress in the League Cup. A first full appearance soon followed as he was selected in the United side for an FA Cup 3rd round tie against non-league Exeter City at Old Trafford on January 8 2005.
At the start of 2006 Jones went on loan to then Billy Davies` Coca-Cola Championship side Preston North End to gain first-team experience. He made 25 appearances (including 3 as substitute) and scoring 3 goals. He moved again on loan and this time he moved to Dutch side NEC Nijmegen. He began as a bench player but soon was a regular and impressed the supporters at the De Goffert Stadium. He returned to United after his loan period ended and signed a new three-year deal.
But the chance to play first team football was again limited and with Davies now at Pride Park he approached the Red Devils to require his services. A £1million bid was accepted and Jones joined the Rams initially on loan until the January transfer window - the first possible opportunity to make the transfer a permanent one.
Date:Wednesday December 20 2006
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