The numbers game for Louis Jones in quest to be Doncaster Rovers' top keeper
Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens wants Louis Jones to think more like a number one - literally.
The goalkeeper has impressed Wellens greatly over the first week of pre-season training with the manager suggesting the 22-year-old is in the box seat for a starting shirt next season despite his on-going attempts to bring in another.
But his choice of training kit raised questions from Wellens about how he saw himself in the pecking order at the club, only for the Rovers boss to be pleased by Jones’ response.
“I had him in my office on Wednesday and I was looking at him,” Wellens told the Free Press.
“There’s only one goalkeeper in the building and he’s got number 13 on his training kit.
“What happened is that Mat [Hawkhead, kitman] has put the kits out on the first day of training and Louis has automatically gone straight to number 13.
“I said to him ‘what number do you want to be’ and he said number one. So I asked why he hadn’t gone for number one?
“He said the number 13 kit was there, so I said ‘why didn’t you speak up?’
“I told him to go and change the board downstairs and put himself at number one on the squad list, which he did and I really like.”
Wellens says Jones has bulked up physically during the closed season and he looks to build on his 17 appearances for his hometown club last term.
He said: “He doesn’t look 22. The way he holds himself really well.
“He’s got a stature about him. He’s put on a lot of muscle over the summer without losing that athleticism.
“I’ve been really pleased with Louis.”
Wellens continues to hunt for a goalkeeper with talks continuing with a Premier League club and a Championship outfit over potential loan signings.
He said: “You need competition and I want two goalkeepers that push each other but I want them to look at each other and think they’re going to test each other every day.
“But I need them both to think they’re number one. Competition is healthy and you can’t just have one goalkeeper at the club.”