Jones, a junior with Sutherlands Park and Lynwood, represented Western Australia at Under-14 level and played youth team football for Bayswater City prior to entering the academy at English club Middlesbrough in mid-1998. A member of the side that reached the semi-finals of the 2000 FA Youth Cup, Jones slowly worked his way up through the ranks and spent several seasons as back-up to club and country team mate Mark Schwarzer before getting his chance as Middlesbrough's preferred goalkeeper.
With Schwarzer commanding the gloves at Middlesbrough, Jones picked up some invaluable first team experience by going out on loan, initially at Shelbourne, Stockport County and Blackpool. He was a regular fixture on the bench during 2003/04 and in January of that season made his Middlesbrough first team debut in the FA Cup defeat of Notts County. Late the following month Jones watched from the bench as his team defeated Bolton Wanderder to win the League Cup, the first trophy in the club's 128-year history.
Jones returned to Blackpool for a second loan spell during the early stages of 2004/05, playing a dozen games before heading back to the Riverside. An extended first team run towards the end of the 2005/06 campaign, courtesy of injury to Schwarzer, included a UEFA Cup semi-final outing against Steaua Bucharest. Jones then went on loan for the first three months of 2006/07 to Sheffield Wednesday, where he played 15 games in less than ideal circumstances.
Having worn Australia colours at Under-20 and Under-23 levels - including being back-up to Eugene Galekovic at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games - Jones made his senior international debut against Uruguay in June 2007. It was memorable for all the wrong reasons, Jones' failure to take a cross cleanly presenting Álvaro Recoba with the simple task of heading into an unguarded net and secure a 2-1 win. The following month he was inlcuded in the Socceroos Asian Cup squad but did not feature in the on-field action.
Schwarzer's move to Fulham in mid-2008 opened the door for Jones to become Middlesbrough's number one. Unfortunately, he dislocated a finger on the second day of the 2008/09 season and it wasn't until January - when he signed a new three-and-a-half year deal - that Jones established himself as the club's preferred 'keeper. He was again in and out of the side throughout 2009/10 before coming into form towards the end of that season to earn a national team call-up for the World Cup.
Jones gained his second Socceroos cap by coming on for the second half of a pre-tournament friendly with New Zealand in May 2010, and a few weeks later was named in Australia's final 23-player squad for South Africa. However, seven days out from Australia's first game Jones withdrew from the squad after his 4-year old son, Luca, was diagnosed with leukaemia. In August of that year Jones signed for Liverpool with his debut for the club being a League Cup loss to Northampton Town a month later.
Called up for Australia's 2011 Asian Cup squad, Jones played the first half of a friendly with the United Arab Emirates but watched the tournament proper from the bench. In March 2011 he was loaned out to Derby County for the closing stages of the Championship season. Tragedy struck eight months later when Jones' son, Luca, passsed away after a lengthy battle with leukemia. His long-awaited Premier League debut came in April 2012 with an off the bench appearance against Blackburn Rovers and a few weeks later was back between the posts for an FA Cup semi-final win over Everton.
A Socceroos recall came in September 2012 with Jones watching from the bench as Australian defeated Lebanon in what was Schwarzer's 100th appearance for the nation.
|02.06.2007||Uruguay (Sydney)||1-2 (loss)||Friendly||Full game|
|24.05.2010||New Zealand (Melbourne)||2-1 (won)||Friendly||Sub on after 45 minutes for Adam Federici|
|06.01.2011||United Arab Emirates (Al Ain)||0-0 (draw)||Friendly||Sub off after 45 minutes for Nathan Coe|
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This page was last updated on the 12th January 2011.