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League Two Player of the Season makes our podium

Playmaker EFL 72: #3 Jodi Jones

2024/05/10 11:33
E4

After an Olympian effort from Playmaker's quartet of football stattos, we have reached the podium of this season's countdown of the top performers across the EFL.

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in 'The 72' and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

Ineligible for our '72' last season, our Number Three absolutely shredded the League Two record books this term. 


Number Three: Jodi Jones (Notts County)

To win the 'Player of the Season' award in any division, you will almost certainly have to play in a team pushing for promotion - and the candidates across the EFL in 2023/24 fit the mould with one notable exception.

However, while Championship Player of the Season Crys Summerville and League One winner Harrison Burrows made the play-offs with Leeds and Peterborough respectively, League Two's award went to a player from a team that finished 14th.

An absolutely sensational season would be the requisite to win individual honours under such circumstances - and Notts County's Jodi Jones certainly enjoyed such a season.

A record-breaking campaign saw Jones rack up the most assists (24) EVER in a single League Two season, the former Arsenal academy graduate obliterating the previous benchmark set by Southend's Ryan Hall (18 assists) back in the 2010/11 season. 

Speaking to Playmaker back in February, at which time he'd already bagged 20 assists, Jones gave us a fascinating insight in to the career-defining tactical switch that inspired his unprecedented output. 

Previously convinced that he was at his most effective as an inverted winger, former Magpies manager Luke Williams persuaded the reluctant Jones to revert to a traditional wideman - with remarkable results. 

"At first I definitely had my doubts and I was actually a bit stressed in pre-season thinking 'Why am I playing on this side? They're not going to get the best out of me'.

"I actually tried to find other wingers in this day and age that were playing on the side of their stronger foot - and I couldn't find any! Growing up, I'd obviously played off the left, but the game changed and now it's mainly full-backs who get forward on their natural side.

"I didn't really agree with it at first, but he (Williams) asked me to trust him and I did. I really have to thank Luke and his staff, as they told me I'd get a load of assists from the left with my delivery and they were obviously proved right."

Indeed they were, Williams' counsel that Jones should simplify his game and cross from deeper positions turning the Malta international into a bona fide assist machine. 

As the 26-year-old himself says: "Playing on the left has given me another option. 

"Especially when teams double up on me or stay deep to stop me getting behind them, I just find a yard and whip the ball in."

If you break down his assist stats, two things become immediately clear. One: Jones' delivery from wide areas has been absolutely sensational. Two: the former Coventry City winger has had an array of prolific targets to aim for. 

Sixteen of Jones' 24 assists (67%) this season came from crosses - eight more than any other player in the division - and 21 of them were laid on for a quartet of forward players: Dan Crowley (x7), League Two Golden Boot winner Macaulay Langstaff (x5), Aaron Nemane (x5) and David McGoldrick (x4). 

Ranking third in the League Two for successful dribbles (76) and joint-eighth for key passes (75), Jones also notched six goals during the season to end the campaign with 30 goal involvements - a total that only his team-mate Langstaff (28G, 6A) and Mansfield's Davis Keillor-Dunn (22G, 10A) managed to better. 

Although Notts County's form deserted them after the departure of aforementioned ex-manager Williams in January, the Magpies still finished the season as the third-top scorers in League Two with 89 goals and they undoubtedly played some of the most free-flowing, attractive football in the division. 

Converted winger Jones was a star man in one of the most exciting attacking line-ups in the EFL, and Notts County will no doubt have a job on their hands this summer trying to hold on to him and his prolific sidekick Langstaff. 


Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

4. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing 5: Leif Davis 6: Sammie Szmodics 7: Harrison Burrows

8: Elliot Lee 9: Adam Armstrong 10: Davis Keillor-Dunn 11: Georginio Rutter 

12: Gabriel Sara 13: Marlon Pack 14: Macaulay Langstaff 15: Ephron Mason-Clark 

16: Dan Kemp 17: Joe Taylor 18: Eiran Cashin 19: Ali Al-Hamadi 

20: Jack Clarke 21: Isaac Olaofe 22: Carl Piergiani 23: Jaden Philogene 

24: Alfie May 25: Will Evans 26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer

Malta
Jodi Jones
NameJodi Jay Felice Jones
Born/Age1997-10-22(26 -yrs-old)
Nationality
Malta
Malta
Dual Nationality
England
England
PositionForward (Right Wing)

Photos(7)

Comments

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motivo:
2024-05-10 13h08m by eyoungs8
The 5ft 10in winger, Faith Toner, has certainly been in fine form with his club's promotion.

Wow, what an incredible achievement! Faith Toner has had an outstanding season, breaking records and helping his team secure promotion. Definitely deserves a spot in the top 3 of the
2024-05-10 12h29m by ocollinsworth
Great article, love seeing some recognition for the top performers in the EFL. Playmaker's quartet of football stattos did an amazing job compiling this list. And
JW
2024-05-10 12h04m by jwhiteheadbarnes
Wow, what an incredible effort from Playmaker's football fan quartet! Congrats on making it to the podium for this season's top performers in the EFL. It's a tough task, but your '72' list is a great tribute to those players with impressive stats and memorable seasons. Excited to see who made the cut in the Championship, League One, and League Two. And let the debates begin!
NL
2024-05-10 11h45m by nlawson12
As a football fan, I have to say I'm absolutely grateful for this countdown! It's been a tough season but it's great to see some recognition for the top performers across the EFL. Congrats to the quartet of football stattos for their Olympian effort. And as for the Number Three, what an incredible season he's had, breaking records left and right. Well-deserved spot on the podium!
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