Doncaster Rovers’ maverick keeper Louis Jones talks football, fate and philosphy

You might think Louis Jones has had good reason to feel sorry for himself after some rotten luck over the years.
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That, in part, has restricted the Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper to fewer than 50 professional appearances in the six and a half years since he signed his first contract.

But you won’t catch him complaining.

"Luck is such a strange word,” said Jones, a self-confessed stoic.

Doncaster Rovers stopper Louis Jones.Doncaster Rovers stopper Louis Jones.
Doncaster Rovers stopper Louis Jones.
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"I would say everything that happens to you is fate. A lot of the time you can do everything right and things still go wrong.

"That’s just how the world is. I’ll just continue to try and do everything I can right. If I get lucky because of that, I’ll be happy.”

Stoicism is a philosophical school of thought that hails from ancient Greece and Rome in the early parts of the 3rd century, BC.

It does not, one thinks, normally rear its head in football dressing rooms.

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Stoicism can be a practical tool for dealing with the hardship life sometimes throws our way, with a stoic defined as “someone who transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”

“It’s always a choice how you think about things that happen to you,” said 24-year-old Jones, who revealed James Coppinger’s mindset coaching influenced him earlier in his career.

At last, it seems Jones is getting the rub of the green – ironically due to an injury to someone else: Ian Lawlor.

That has seen Jones step into the side for the last three matches, which have all ended in victory for Doncaster.

"I think I have done well," he said.

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"I have been there to calm us down when we needed calming down, play when we needed to play, make those good decisions.

"I have probably matured in terms of making the correct decisions. I have always been working on that side, thinking about the game, I’m really happy with how the last three games have gone.”

Almost seven years into his career, does Jones feel like an established professional?

"I think you are an established pro when you have played enough games and you have got that respect,” he said.

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"Personally, I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked to. Whether I deserve to or not was never up to me.

“I would like to play a full season under my belt and maybe then you can ask that question.”

There was a time when Jones wasn’t so wise.

"That was when I didn’t think about my actions,” Jones said by way of explanation.

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"I let my emotions control me in that scenario. That was just something daft that happens.

"I’m really grateful because at the time that could have been my career over. Grant chose to not release me and let me do my rehab and come back.

"I could have been finished.”

If you hadn’t already concluded, Jones, who is also a keen videogamer and said to be a quiet presence at Cantley Park, is not your average footballer.

So what might life look like for him after this chapter?

"I have got loads of random things I’m interested in,” he said.

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"I have got a golden retriever that’s two. I love her to bits and I love dogs, so maybe I could set something up to do with looking after dogs.

"My whole family love dogs, maybe it’s something we could set up. That would be something we would all enjoy and I think that would be really fulfilling.”