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Zak Kennedy Jules (born 2 July 1997) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a defender for League Two side Walsall. He has represented Scotland at all levels from under-17 to under-21.

Zak Jules
Personal information
Full name Zak Kennedy Jules[1]
Date of birth (1997-07-02) 2 July 1997 (age 22)[2]
Place of birth Islington, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[2]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Walsall
Number 33
Youth career
20??–2015 Reading
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2017 Reading 0 (0)
2015–2016Hemel Hempstead Town (loan) 5 (0)
2016–2017Braintree Town (loan) 3 (0)
2017Motherwell (loan) 10 (1)
2017–2019 Shrewsbury Town 0 (0)
2017Chesterfield (loan) 6 (0)
2018Port Vale (loan) 2 (0)
2018Barnet (loan) 4 (0)
2019 Macclesfield Town 14 (0)
2019– Walsall 0 (0)
National team
2014 Scotland U17 3 (0)
2015–2016 Scotland U19 5 (0)
2017 Scotland U20 3 (0)
2016 Scotland U21 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:00, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

He began his career at Reading, from where he was loaned out to Hemel Hempstead Town, Braintree Town and Motherwell. He signed with Shrewsbury Town in June 2017, and spent the 2017–18 season on loan at Chesterfield and Port Vale. He joined Barnet on loan in September 2018, before joining Macclesfield Town after leaving Shrewsbury by mutual consent in January 2019. He signed with Walsall in July 2019.

Club careerEdit

ReadingEdit

Jules came through the Academy at Reading, and on 31 October 2015 was sent on loan to National League South club Hemel Hempstead Town.[3] He made his debut for the club on 31 October, in a 6–2 victory at Gosport Borough.[4] He made a further seven appearances for Dean Brennan's "Tudors", before he returned to the Madejski Stadium on 4 January 2016.[5] He later said that the loan spell "toughened me up a bit".[6] He signed an extension to his professional contract at Reading at the end of the 2015–16 season.[7][8]

On 2 December 2016, Jules joined Braintree Town on a month-long loan deal.[9] He played in three National League matches during his time at Cressing Road, and also featured in two cup games. Back at Reading, he reported that he had been working closely with "Royals" head coach Jaap Stam, who told him to be more aggressive.[10] On 27 January 2017, Jules joined Scottish Premiership club Motherwell on loan until the end of the 2016–17 season.[11] He endured a difficult start to his time at Fir Park as he conceded a penalty in the 2–0 defeat at Celtic and scored an own goal in the 5–1 home defeat by Dundee that preceded manager Mark McGhee's departure from the club.[12] He did though score the winning goal in a 2–1 victory at Kilmarnock on 4 March, in what was new manager Stephen Robinson's first game in charge.[13] However on 6 May, an error by Jules gifted Ross County a 1–0 win at Fir Park that sent the "Steelmen" into the relegation play-off zone with three matches left to play.[14]

Shrewsbury TownEdit

On 25 June 2017, Jules signed a two-year contract with League One club Shrewsbury Town.[15] He scored in a pre-season friendly with Aston Villa at the New Meadow, though "Shrews" manager Paul Hurst said that "he’s a player that we feel needs a lot of work".[16] On 31 August 2017, Jules joined Gary Caldwell's League Two side Chesterfield on loan until 14 January 2018.[17] He made his debut two days later in a 0–0 draw with Coventry City at the Proact Stadium.[18] However he tore 90% of his hamstring during his sixth appearance for the "Spireites" on 26 September and was forced to return to Shrewsbury for a lengthy rehabilitation period.[19] However he was unable to win a first-team place at Shrewsbury due to the team's good form and excellent defensive record.[20] On 19 January 2018, he returned to League Two after joining Port Vale on loan until the end of the 2017–18 season.[21] He began as the "Valiants" first-choice left-back, but struggled for form and was substituted after 51 minutes of his second appearance at Vale Park by manager Neil Aspin.[22]

On 21 September 2018, Jules returned to the National League on a three-month loan at Barnet after failing to figure in new Shrewsbury manager John Askey's first-team plans.[23] Jules made five appearances for John Still's "Bees", the last of which came in a 4–2 FA Cup victory over Braintree Town on 20 October.[24] Jules left Shrewsbury by mutual consent on 3 January 2019.[25]

Macclesfield TownEdit

On 28 January 2019, Jules signed a short-term deal with League Two relegation-threatened club Macclesfield Town.[26] He went on to become an important part of the Macclesfield defence, featuring 14 times to help the "Silkmen" to avoid relegation at the end of the 2018–19 season.[27] His stay at Moss Rose was extended by a further 12-months after manager Sol Campbell opted to take up an option on his contract.[28]

WalsallEdit

On 27 July 2019, Jules signed a contract of undisclosed-length with newly-relegated League two side Walsall after being signed for an undisclosed fee.[29] Manager Darrell Clarke described him as "a young player we want to develop".[30]

International careerEdit

Jules was born in Islington, but became eligible to play for Scotland through his mother, who came from Glasgow.[31] He represented the under-17 team and was selected by Scot Gemmill in the Scotland squad for the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta.[32] He went on to win caps at under-18 and under-19 level, before going on to make his under-21 debut in a 2–0 defeat to Iceland on 5 October 2016.[33][34] He was selected in the Scotland squad for the 2017 Toulon Tournament in France, and played in the group stage games against the Czech Republic and Indonesia.[35][36]

Style of playEdit

A 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) central-defender, Jules describes himself as "fast and good on the ball" and has said that "I am quite quick and quite powerful, I have a half-decent left foot and I like to play a bit as well".[37][20] A left-footed player, he can also fill in at left-back.[20]

Career statisticsEdit

As of 19 May 2019.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Reading 2015–16[38] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016–17[39] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hemel Hempstead Town (loan) 2015–16[40] National League South 5 0 0 0 3[a][b] 0 8 0
Braintree Town (loan) 2016–17[41] National League 3 0 1 0 1[a] 0 5 0
Motherwell (loan) 2016–17[39] Scottish Premiership 10 1 0 0 0 0 10 1
Shrewsbury Town 2017–18[42] League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018–19[43] League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chesterfield (loan) 2017–18[42] League Two 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Port Vale (loan) 2017–18[42] League Two 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Barnet (loan) 2018–19[43] National League 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Macclesfield Town 2018–19[43] League Two 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
Walsall 2019–20[44] League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 44 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 49 1
  1. ^ a b Includes appearance/s in the FA Trophy.
  2. ^ Includes appearance/s in the Herts Senior Cup.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "EFL: Club retained and released lists published". English Football League. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Profile". 11v11. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  3. ^ Hull, Adam (31 October 2015). "Harriott leaves Tudors as Jules arrives on loan from Reading". Hemel Today. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Gosport Borough 2 vs. 6 Hemel Hempstead Town - 31 October 2015 - 1st XI - Hemel Hempstead Town FC". www.hemelfc.com. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Zak Jules and Noor Husin have returned to their parent club Reading today". hemelfc.com. Hemel Hempstead Town. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  6. ^ McGarry, Graeme (9 October 2016). "Young Scotland defender Zak Jules taking leaf from manager Jaap Stam's book as he cranks up the aggression". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Contract offers made to Academy talent". readingfc.co.uk. Reading F.C. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  8. ^ "15 youngsters sign new pro deals with Reading". readingfc.co.uk. Reading F.C. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Jules Found at Braintree on Loan". footballconference.co.uk. Football Conference. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  10. ^ https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14791126.amp/
  11. ^ "Jules heads to Motherwell for loan stint". readingfc.co.uk. Reading F.C. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  12. ^ McGarry, Graeme (5 March 2017). "Zak Jules hoping first impressions are forgotten at Motherwell after winner at Kilmarnock". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ Lamont, Alasdair (4 March 2017). "Kilmarnock 1-2 Motherwell". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  14. ^ Mullen, Scott (7 May 2017). "Zak Jules won't be Motherwell blame boy, says Heneghan". Evening Times. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Jules and Stacey leave for pastures new". readingfc.co.uk. Reading F.C. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  16. ^ Cox, Lewis (19 July 2017). "Hard work ahead for Shrewsbury Town's Zak Jules". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Defender Joins Spireites". www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk. 31 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Chesterfield 0-0 Coventry City". BBC Sport. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  19. ^ Cox, Lewis (26 September 2017). "Shrewsbury Town defender Zak Jules faces lengthy injury lay-off". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Baggaley, Michael (22 January 2018). "Zak Jules can't wait to start after joining Port Vale on loan from Shrewsbury". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Zak Jules: Shrewsbury Town loan defender to Port Vale for rest of season". BBC Sport. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  22. ^ Baggaley, Michael (4 February 2018). "Comment as Hugill jackpot contrasts with Port Vale's bog-standard Morecambe draw". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Town defender Zak Jules joins Barnet on loan". Shropshire Star. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Report | Barnet FC 4-2 Braintree Town - Emirates FA Cup". www.barnetfc.com. 20 October 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Zak Jules Moves On". www.shrewsburytown.com. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Zak Jules and Stelios Demetriou: Macclesfield Town sign defenders". BBC Sport. 28 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  27. ^ Baggaley, Michael (26 April 2019). "'The main thing is we want to win' - Port Vale's Macclesfield legend on big game". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  28. ^ "Silkmen Announce Retained List". www.mtfc.co.uk. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Walsall: Zak Jules, Gary Liddle and Rory Holden all sign for League Two club". BBC sport. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  30. ^ Masi, Joseph (26 July 2019). "Walsall sign Zac Jules for undisclosed fee". Express and Star. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  31. ^ Mullen, Scott (1 February 2017). "'Jules Holland' - Zak out to impress Dutch mentor Jaap Stam during loan spell at Motherwell from Reading". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Zak Jules U17". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  33. ^ "Zak Jules U19". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  34. ^ "Zak Jules U21". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  35. ^ "::: Festival International Espoirs ::: Le direct du Festival". www.festival-foot-espoirs.com. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  36. ^ "::: Festival International Espoirs ::: Les rencontres du Festival". www.festival-foot-espoirs.com. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Jules: "I want to continue to develop."". chesterfield-fc.co.uk. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  38. ^ "Games played by Zak Jules in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  39. ^ a b "Games played by Zak Jules in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  40. ^ "Zak Jules Profile | Aylesbury United FC". www.aylesburyunitedfc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  41. ^ Zak Jules at Soccerway. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  42. ^ a b c "Games played by Zak Jules in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  43. ^ a b c "Games played by Zak Jules in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  44. ^ "Games played by Zak Jules in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 October 2017.

External linksEdit