Jones’ heart still beats true
MELBOURNE Demons 306-game legend Nathan Jones will be back in red and blue in July when he makes a one-off appearance for Portarlington.
Port have locked in Jones for a game on July 9, which is the Demons’ round 14 match against Ocean Grove.
The Bellarine Football League club selected Jones with the first pick of the Carlton Draft – a Carlton United Breweries initiative to boost community clubs off the back of COVID-interrupted seasons.
The selection process was broadcast live on TV presented by former Brisbane forward Jonathan Brown and a Fox Footy panel, which footy club members watched at a live screening at Portarlington Golf Club last week.
The pick means the former Melbourne captain will be a “Demon for life”, after he first pulled on the colours as a junior at Mt Eliza, before spending 16 seasons as a one-club AFL stalwart and will now become a Portarlington player.
“I’ve worn these colours since I was nine years old. My junior footy wore the Dees (guernsey), I obviously played for the Dees, I can’t believe I’m back in these colours,” Jones said on the broadcast.
Jones has maintained fitness since his retirement late last year through triathlons, but hinted at a training session to sharpen his skills before the big game.
“I haven’t kicked a footy in three months, I feel like I need to get out there and have a training session or two,” he said.
Jones is rostered on for a full-day appearance in July, which will include gameday activities, the senior match and a club function after the final siren.
Portarlington is one of eight clubs across regional Victoria that will host a one-off legend appearance during the year as part of the CUB initiative.
The Demons had the pick of players with their selection at the top of the order, which included Eddie Betts, Cameron Mooney, Shaun Burgoyne, Jarryd Roughead, Alex Rance, Brendan Goddard and Dale Thomas.