Date: Tue 08 Jan 2013

Forgotten Man Jones returns to Lido

Craig Jones in action for Wales against England in 2008 at Rhyl

Craig Jones in action for Wales against England in 2008 at Rhyl

One of the Welsh Premier League's forgotten faces Craig Jones has re-signed for Afan Lido after an injury-plagued spell at Steeltown rivals, Afan Lido.

Jones is a former Wales Semi-Pro International who was once rated as one of the Welsh Premier League's brightest talents. Having come through the junior ranks at Swansea City, he joined his local side Afan Lido as a teenage striker. The Lido management then converted the Neath-born youngster into an attacking right wing-back and he was instrumental in that role as Lido, then of the Welsh Football League, went all the way to the Welsh Cup Final in May 2007. They lost that day to Carmarthen Town, whose Manager Mark Jones then described him as the 'new Mark Delaney'.

His form that season prompted a move to Llanelli AFC who were full-time and it was under this professional environment in the 2007/08 season, which saw Jones flourish.

After less than three months in the top-flight, he was picked for the Wales Under 23 Semi Professional side that lost 4-2 to Italy in November 2007. Craig started the game at right-wing back to win his first International Cap and he was also named in the squad for the England fixture in February 2008, but withdrew with injury. He played in the 4 Nations Tournament in North Wales in May 2008 for the full Semi Pro side and it was at this competition, where many Football League scouts were casting their eye over the then Llanelli starlet.

He was again in the International Challenge Trophy Squad for the November 2008 fixture at Llanelli against Finland, but then injury began to hamper his development. He made just 14 starts in the nest two seasons with the Reds, before he was released to join Port Talbot where Mark Jones was quick to sign him in June 2010.

He didn't feature for the Steelmen in their first Europa League campaign because of injury and only made 11 League starts in his 30 months at the club, as well as 13 appearances from the bench and failed to register a goal.

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