Dan Jones played through the pain barrier to ensure he was involved in helping Hartlepool United pull off the Great Escape.
The determined 20-year-old was rewarded for his impressive displays with a new contract at the League Two side and Jones is committed to being a major part of the club’s future.
I was happy to get that run of games and hopefully it continues next seasonDan Jones, Pools defender
Jones, who came up through the youth system, fractured his wrist last pre-season and was due to go under the surgeon’s knife in January after the injury refused to heal by itself.
But Sedgefield-born Jones had only just broken into the side under new boss Ronnie Moore and he was determined to put surgery off until the summer.
It reaped rewards for both the defender and the club, with Jones playing a key role as Pools climbed out of trouble.
Pools had already taken up the option on Jones’s contract but decided to reward his displays with a brand new deal and one the versatile defender was happy to sign.
“I had the option for another year anyway, but the club offered me a new deal because they thought I did well last year and that is a really big boost for me,” said Jones.
“I came into the side at centre-half for Ronnie Moore’s first game and while I had a few games on the bench, I played a lot of games and really enjoyed it.”
The highly-rated Jones, comfortable at left-back or centre-back, made a total of 28 appearances during 2014-15, despite his wrist injury.
He underwent surgery on the final day of the season, the day of the dramatic 3-3 draw at Carlisle United, but will be back for the new campaign.
“It was last pre-season when I did it,” revealed Jones, who joined the club four years ago as a first year scholar.
“I could feel it when I went over on it and it was getting sore and I was told it was fractured.
“I went to see a specialist about my wrist and it was split down the middle and was told I needed surgery as it wasn’t getting any better by itself.
“I was going to get it done in January but then I started getting in the team and wanted to wait until the summer.”
It proved an inspired decision by Jones and the club’s head physio Ian Gallagher, with the defender quickly becoming an integral member of the Pools side that achieved safety against the odds.
“I was happy to get that run of games and hopefully it continues next season,” added Jones.
“The manager is clear, once you get picked it is your peg and make sure your shirt is on the peg.
“That is what I did every week – made sure it was my shirt on that peg.
“I felt that my game came on a lot in those pressure situations, when we were bottom of the league, 10 points adrift.
“I thrived off the pressure.”