By Scott Taylor
Lloyd Jones has enlisted the help of former Commonwealth Games Athlete Katherine Endacott and UEFA ‘A’ Licenced Coach Aaron Cusack, as he prepares for the new season. The Liverpool defender, 19, signed for the Reds from his native Plymouth. The England Under-20 international wants to break into the first team this season, and has got some specialist help to assist him.
Jones has been going to Brickfields Atheltics Centre twice-a-week to train with Endacott, with the aim to make him faster and more powerful as a player. Endacott is a double medal winner at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, so Jones is in safe hands with his new coach. She won a gold medal in the 4×100 metres relay in Delhi and won the silver medal in the 100m sprint. In addition to visiting Brickfields, Jones has also been doing short sprints up some hills in Eggbuckland to bolster his leg muscles.
The defender wants to do everything to be in the best possible condition when he returns to Liverpool on 1 July, and told the Plymouth Herald about his routines. He said: “I had a month off and it’s long enough. After about two weeks you want to get back into playing football. Katherine Endacott has got me running up the hills to get ready for the start of pre-season. I also go to Brickfields twice a week with her.
Jones also revealed what specific work-outs he has been doing with her, and also the reason why he has been doing it. He continued: “I’m doing short sprints, 20 or 30 metres, because you aren’t going to run much more than that at a time as a defender. I’m just working on the power in my legs. Obviously, I’m quite a big lad an I’m still growing and developing. The more I can get in my legs now I’m sure it will hold me in good stead. Kath works me hard, but it’s fun as well, we do have a laugh.”
Jones has also enlisted the help of Aaron Cusack for one-on-one football coaching this summer. Cusack is a colleague of Jones’ father Gareth at the University of St Mark and St John and coaches in Plymouth’s academy setup.
Jones also told the Herald how his routine with Endacott doesn’t interfere with his sessions with Cusack. He said: “Aaron is a top coach. I do my running with Kath and then I will go off and do a two-hour session with him. It’s all the technical stuff.”
The Liverpool Under-21 captain recently signed a new two-year deal with the Reds, and had loan spells with Cheltenham Town and Accrington Stanley in League Two last season. Jones understands the importance of these next two years, and is targetting a place in Rodgers’ pre-season squad.
He added: “I had one year left and I’m thankful they gave me an extension. It has put my kind at ease and hopefully I can push on in these two years. I will be 21 by the time my contract has ended so I think I will know if they are having me ore not by then. We will have to see how it goes.”