FRAN­TIC DAYS KEEP VILLA’S CHLOE SHARP

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Ross Law­son

GET­TING up at 5am daily to go to the gym, work­ing full-time in a school, then fin­ish­ing the day with an­other train­ing ses­sion – it’s no won­der As­ton Villa’s Chloe Jones finds the bal­ance be­tween foot­ball and work hard to man­age.

The life­style has be­come some­thing of the norm for Jones, who first joined Villa to move closer to her fam­ily in Fe­bru­ary 2013, dur­ing which time she has main­tained a fran­tic jug­gling act with mul­ti­ple ca­reers.

And, while it’s not some­thing the mid­fielder will ever com­pletely get used to, Jones knows there are plenty of other less de­sir­able paths where life could have taken her.

“It’s a bal­ance I strug­gle with sometimes,” she said. “There are times I work too hard be­cause I’m the sort of per­son who puts 100 per cent into every­thing I do, but I think it’s some­thing I’ve im­proved in this year,”

Jones, who teaches at Heart of Worces­ter­shire College, added: “With it be­ing the sum­mer, we’ve also had the hol­i­days off, so that’s al­lowed me a bit more free time.

“I’ve still trained twice a day. It’s been good to get into a rhythm, train­ing reg­u­larly and hav­ing a bit more time to re­lax.

“It’s all about manag­ing that time. I have a lot of com­mit­ments in teach­ing. There’s a lot you have to do, and bal­anc­ing that with a so­cial life is hard enough. Adding foot­ball in that mix makes it a huge chal­lenge.

“But, at the same time, I love teach­ing, I en­joy what I do and it’s some­thing I want to stick with.

“Foot­ball helps in a way, but when you put every­thing into all you do, some­thing has to even­tu­ally give way.

“I just have to make sure that, for the ben­e­fit of As­ton Villa, it’s not the foot­ball. But it is hard.”

The work Jones puts in does not go un­re­warded. A reg­u­lar starter in the Mid­lands, the for­mer Le­ices­ter mid­fielder has be­come a fo­cal point in the Villa side.

De­spite that, things have been far from ideal for Villa this sea­son, mus­ter­ing only a mid-ta­ble po­si­tion with just a hand­ful of FA WSL 2 games re­main­ing.

Jones, how­ever, re­mains up­beat and be­lieves the mount­ing list of ex­pe­ri­ences she can now boast of will con­tinue to put her in good stead – on and off the pitch.

“It’s been a frus­trat­ing sea­son so far be­cause of the in­con­sis­tency. We all know how good we can be on our day,” added the 27-year-old, who spent time in Fin­land with Aland United be­fore re­turn­ing to Villa this sum­mer.

“It’s all about solid per­for­mances week in week out, and the break al­lowed us to work through some more bits and pieces.

“Some of the de­feats have come when we’ve played re­ally good foot­ball. It’s been about not be­ing able to fin­ish, about get­ting clin­i­cal, it’s some­thing we’ve been work­ing on.”

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