King's Lynn Town bring in experienced goalkeeper for next National League tilt
King's Lynn Town have signed a goalkeeper who has the distinction of being the first goalkeeper to save a penalty at the new Wembley Stadium.
The much-travelled Paul Jones, who saved a spot-kick at the home of football whilst playing for Exeter in the Conference play-off final of 2007, becomes Lynn's third new arrival for next season as manager Ian Culverhouse continues his rebuilding project at The Walks.
The 34-year-old has posted more than 350 appearances for a raft of clubs in a near 15-year career to date.
Jones has represented Leyton Orient, Exeter, Peterborough, Crawley, Portsmouth, Norwich, Fleetwood and more recently Sheffield Wednesday.
"I am excited," said Jones, who had Culverhouse as his youth team manager at Leyton Orient when he was a teenager.
"I live in Norwich, I have done since I signed for Norwich a few years ago but actually Ian was my youth team manager at Leyton Orient when I first started as a 16 year old so there is a connection there.
"I made contact with Ian before Christmas I think it was about the possibility and he said that there was an interest and then obviously now it has been finalised and here I am."
The experienced Jones is looking to establish himself as first-choice goalkeeper at The Walks and staying in Norfolk played a big part in him signing for Lynn.
"I have got a young family indoors and with all of the circumstances going on the offers I was having were a long way from home and I didn’t want to do that," he said.
"That is why King’s Lynn ticked a lot of boxes for me, where I am at age-wise, family-wise, location so, yes, it just suits everything for me and hopefully it suits the club as well.
"It was something that as a youngster it never bothered me where I was because I didn’t have kids or a partner and it was just me forging out a career plan in football but now that has changed."
Lynn's new shotstopper believes he has got his best years ahead of him and is looking forward to working with assistant boss Paul Bastock.
"I'm 34 at the moment and when I initially started all those years ago you always have in your head I want to hit 40 and still be playing," he said.
"Personally I can’t wait to get started with Paul Bastock. He played into his forties so going by him I have got a good 10 years left. I am excited, I am looking forward to working on the training pitch with him.
"I always believe that no matter what age you are you can always improve and that is what I want to do under him."
Jones, who knows the National League inside out having helped Exeter City to promotion, is relishing the prospect of taking on the big clubs in the league.
"That adds to the challenge but when I played for Exeter we were deemed one of the bigger clubs, it is a tough, tough league.
"You drop down from the football league and they are good quality clubs and there are good quality clubs already in this league.
"It is a tough league to get out of but you go into every Saturday and you want to win and it is just good competition, it is a good league to be in."