Player Spotlight - Rhonda Jones
Rhonda Jones was another one of Glasgow City's pre-season signings and has become an integral part of City's back four. Tim Oliver found out some more for City Magazine's Spotlight feature before the recent Hearts game. Here is how he got on.
1. Early on in your career, you went to America on a scholarship programme. How was that experience?
I was homesick at first, as I was young and this was a huge step for me to leave home to live on the other side of the world without knowing anyone there. However, as soon as I started training with my University team and playing matches in the Florida sunshine I settled into the lifestyle quite easily! It was by far the best, life changing decision I've made so far and I still really miss the USA. I think if it wasn't for my family I would have happily stayed there for good.
2. What would you say has been your career highlight to date?
Probably reaching my 100 caps for Scotland as that was a huge honour. I don’t score often but I seem to save them up for when it really matters. So scoring against Czech Republic in the 89th minute to put Scotland through to the playoffs in 2005 would be a huge career highlight for me. However, playing against PSG this year in France was one of the most exciting and incredible moments of my footballing career. Being part of the Champions League 1/4 finals and the atmosphere in the Parc de Princes was like nothing else I've ever experienced.
3. How was your Glasgow City debut?
It was quite surreal I guess. Since playing in Scotland, Glasgow City have always been my arc enemy, the team to beat and due to wanting to beat City throughout my career, I never honestly thought I would actually end up playing here. As someone inside looking out now I can see how foolish a lot of the rumours are and what this club really means to the players and staff involved. There is an energy about the club and a real sense of togetherness. Everyone involved is dedicated to success, professionalism and to raising the bar for women's football in Scotland. It's easy to feel like you belong when you share the same beliefs.
4. How have you fitted in at Glasgow City?
I found it really easy to settle in and that was down to the players and staff making me feel so welcome. I knew a lot of the players from the National Team and the others I have played with or against before so it was easy to fit in. It’s a friendly atmosphere, there are no cliques and everyone just gets along. I believe I have fitted in as a person and as a player. I want to win…Glasgow City only recruit players that have that winning mentality and I think I tick that box.
5. Who do you think is going to win the FIFA Women's World Cup?
I’m going for Germany. They have quite an easy group and I don't think the USA are as strong as they've been in previous years, so I think this 2015 is Germany's year.
6. How are you feeling about the SWPL Cup Final against Hibernian?
I’m really excited about the Cup Final against Hibernian. If I’m honest I think we underestimated Hibs in our last League meeting. It hurt to share the points because of a last minute own goal, when we had worked hard to reduce them to only two shots the entire second half. We need to be more switched on and focused this time round and what better day than Cup Final day to put things right.
7. Who are the best three players you've played with or against?
The best players I’ve played with have been Julie Fleeting and Kim Little. Two of the best talents not only in this country, but around the world. The best player I’ve played against was probably Louisa Nécib of France.
8. Do you have a nickname?
The only nickname I have is “RJ”. Very creative.
9. How do you relax away from football?
I don’t really know the meaning of “relax” or “away from football”! With a full time job and full time football, there’s no room for relaxing or nights off. The only downtime I get is spent with my family, friends and my partner. If on a special occasion I get a night/day off I like to eat at my favourite restaurant in Lasswade, “Paper Mill” or chill and catch up with my box sets or Criminal Minds.