So you'll all probably remember the young highly rated goalkeeper we had on our books, when he was let go he joined Saturday's opponents Wealdstone. I spoke to him recently ahead of tomorrow's game about his football career so far, Watford FC and his future.
Hi Jon, why don't we start by you telling us how your move to Watford FC's academy came about?
I was just plying for my local Sunday league team when one of the Watford scouts picked me up and invited me fora trial.
You were quite highly rated, picked up by the Welsh U21 side, how did it feel to represent your country?
Yeah playing for Wales at any age was a huge honour. I managed to play against some great teams in plenty of country's and it was a fantastic time for me.
You had several sincilating youth cup runs whilst with the Hornets, looking back, how close a knit was that team that you grew up in and how important is that on youth academies/setups?
Again my youth team days were fantastic. There was an excellent core of players in that team with me Rob Kiernan, Billy Gibson, Ross Jenkins and Marvin Sordell being involved with the academy for a long time. We were very close on and off the pitch and that showed in our performances. The youth cup was the highlight of the season and meant so much to the players. You got to play in first team stadiums in front of big crowds and to do well in the competition is something I am very proud of.
Much to most Watford fans surprise, you left in 2010 along with Kurtney, how did it feel to leave Watford and how did you pick yourself up from it?
Getting released from Watford was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I had been at the club from the age of 10 and it was a massive part of my life. Although you prepare yourself for the worst, when you are told the bad news it is very hard to accept.
Then you joined Wealdstone, again along with Kurtney (Brooks), how did that come about?
Obviously Watford and Wealdstone have a great connection and it was because of this I choose to join the club. Gordon got in contact and i was more than happy to come down.
Did it help not being in it on your own so to speak?
Certainly. Not only was Kurtney already there but also ex-Watford boys Kieron Forbes and Louis Lavers so that really helped.
You won player of the season in 2010/2011 (apologies if I got that wrong!) too, some could say it's an extraordinary feat as a goalkeeper!
Yep 2010/2011 in my first season. It was a strange year actually as I was very happy personally but disappointed as a team. We had narrowly missed out on the play off's in the previous season so were expected to make a strong challenge. That didn't happen so that was disappointing, but as I said I had a very good personal season.
Last season Wealdstone had a very good FA Trophy run which you featured in, that must have been a good experience?
I've previously talked about playing for Wales and the F.A youth cup run, but last seasons FA trophy campaign was the most exciting thing I have been involved in. We were the complete under dogs for most of the tournament so to beat some of the teams we did and play in front of big crowds was great. To be one tie from Wembley was a massive buzz and its just a shame we couldn't go one step further.
Unfortunately, you suffered a horrible leg injury earlier this year, how is the recovery on that going?
I suffered a double leg break snapping my tibia and fibula in March but the recovery is going really well. I am back running now and will hopefully be playing around the New Year.
I remember last season, despite the score line you had a fantastic game against us, denying Iwelumo and co on quite a few different occasions, how did it feel to be lining up against former teammates?
Yeah I really enjoyed that game last year. It was great to see lots of my old team mates and I was desperate to play well. I think its always strange playing against old teams, but luckily I gave a good account of my self which i was happy with.
Were you gutted when Marv turnt and banged one in?
Haha yeah that was the only disappointing thing! He hasn't stopped going on about it since
It's a shame that you won't be playing this Saturday for us all to come watch you in action again, what are your goals and ambitions for this season?
My only goal this year is to get back playing as soon as possible. Anything else is going to be a bonus for me really.
I noticed earlier that you're a first year student at University, how's that going? You're studying Journalism right?
Yep I have just finished my first year studying journalism at Kingston University. It's something I have always been interested in and the first year has been excellent
Obviously you're quite future minded, what made you want to go into Journalism and studying in particular?
Sport journalism in particular was the thing that always interested me, naturally it stemmed from reading the sports pages as a youngster. Obviously leaving full time Football and becoming semi-professional means you have to find other things to do. The chance to go and experience university and get a degree, while still playing football means you get the best of both worlds and is a great opportunity.
Watford have obviously had a well documented takeover recently, what are your thoughts on the new owners and Zola?
Well its certainly made very interesting reading and it seems like it could be exciting times for the Club. the only disappointment for me is the departure of Sean Dyche. He was my youth team manager while i was there and was fantastic for me and all the other lads. He also did a great job last year in tough conditions so the sacking seems harsh, but that's football.
How do you feel Watford will do this season? (The odds on promotion have drastically shortened!)
It will be very exciting I'm sure. There will be a lot of money and new players but that doesn't automatically bring success. The players and management will take time to gel and they will have to adjust to the new managers ideas and that takes time. Overall I think it will be a season of transition and a save mid table finish.
What are your thoughts on the Harefield project and academy? It's getting a lot of widespread acclaim and I think the fans now expect a lot from it.
I think its a great project that will reap the awards in the future. The more time the kids spend with a ball at the feet the better for their progression. However, to link that with progressing their education means it wont affect their future prospects.
Well, all the best, hopefully we see you back at Watford whether it's as number one, or as the new Jon Marks for Hornet Player!
The game vs Wealdstone tomorrow is at St Georges, Grosvenor Vale in Ruislip. HA4 6JQ.
Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for students/concessions and £2 for U16s. It's a 3PM kick off.