By ZAC MILBANK
Woodville-West Torrens premiership defender Lachie Jones is thriving in his new role with Port Adelaide after being named the Round 15 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee.
A member of the Eagles’ 2020 premiership team across half-back, Jones has recently switched into attack with the Power, culminating in his influential display against the Gold Coast Suns at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The 20-year-old registered 16 disposals, eight score involvements and a goal in Port’s much-needed two-point win, earning praise from coach Ken Hinkley.
“(Jones) plays footy the right way. He’s tough and hard and has real pressure and real run,” Hinkley said.
“We’re not sure exactly where Lachie plays his football in his career, but all we know right now is he’s bringing some really important stuff to our front half.”
Playing his junior football with Bute-Paskeville on the Yorke Peninsula, Jones started his journey as a midfielder-forward before being shifted into defence with the Eagles’ Under-15 side.
Now the strongly-built utility suddenly finds himself returning to his original role after playing 18 AFL games since making his debut with the Power in Round 4 of 2021.
”I wasn’t expecting it up forward but I’m just happy to be playing footy,” Jones told The Advertiser.
”Pretty much only with my junior football in the country (Bute) that was as a mid-forward and as soon as I started playing for Woodville-West Torrens they converted me into a defender.
”The last few weeks have been a good shift and change in my football.”
Jones, who won the 2020 SANFL Mark of the Year, is the third SANFL draftee to earn a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination this year, joining Jason Horne-Francis (South Adelaide/North Melbourne) and Corey Durdin (Central District/Carlton).