Mercury (Hobart)

Medals for every player


MELBOURNE midfield star Jack Viney would like to see all squad members awarded a premiershi­p medallion as he declared the Demons would be “giving their all” in the Grand Final for club stalwart Nathan Jones.

As Melbourne chases its first premiershi­p in 57 years, Jones has become the hard luck story of the Demons’ campaign after making the heart-breaking decision to leave the team ahead of the Grand Final to return to Victoria to witness the birth of his twins as his prospects of earning a recall for the decider appeared slim.

Jones arrived home to Melbourne with just hours to spare last Sunday morning to see see the birth of twins Odie Reign and Dove Margot.

The 33-year-old officially announced his retirement after a 302-game career last week.

Viney said the Demons would be playing with the thought of Jones

“I got in touch with Nathy, he had a pretty quick exit to get there for the birth of his twins,” Viney told ABC radio.

“He is such a legend of the footy club for such a long time and had to make a really tough decision so we want to be giving it our all on Saturday.

“It’s a shame that he is not going to be up here with us.”

Asked if he would like to see the whole squad who had played a part in the 2021 campaign awarded a premiershi­p medal rather than just the 23 on game day, Viney said he would.

The midfield stalwart said the impact of the wider squad and the club’s depth had been a key factor in its charge to the minor premiershi­p and its first Grand Final appearance in 21 years.

“I think one of the biggest strengths of our team this year has been the performanc­e of the whole list,” Viney said.

“We have had a healthy list, our VFL side and the guys that haven’t been able to play in the ones have performed exceptiona­lly and it has just pushed and driven us to be even better and to perform.

“I think that has been a big reason why we had the season we have had is just the depth and the performanc­e of the whole list.”

Defender Adam Tomlinson is another unlucky Demon who has missed out on an on-field part in this year’s finals series after injuring his ACL in Round 7.

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