JONES A CHANCE FOR PRELIM: GAWN
MELBOURNE captain Max Gawn has buoyed hopes of club great Nathan Jones breaking into the team.
Jones, whose wife Jerri is due to give birth to twins in mid-september, was one of four emergencies for Melbourne’s qualifying final victory over Brisbane almost a fortnight ago.
The 33-year-old has played only once at senior level since round 7, but his good form in recent scratch matches has propelled him into the mix.
“There’s no sugarcoating this. People might think we are, because Nathan Jones is a really good story at the moment – that he could be a chance to play in the grand final,” Gawn told RSN.
“There’s no sugar on this. He is the 24th player (in the squad) right now. Obviously, the 23rd is Jimmy Jordon, then the 22 played – and he’s probably sitting 24.
“(Jake) Melksham, Michael Hibberd and Jayden Hunt are all there as well, so there are four guys trying to get into this team.
“We were a team that won by 40 points in a qualifying final with no injuries, so it would be a massive call to make a change.
“Will Nathan be able to stand up in a hot prelim final more than James Jordon, if they were called on as sub?”
The Demons are quarantining at Joondalup Resort in Perth ahead of a third clash this year with Geelong in a preliminary final at Optus Stadium on Friday night.
They beat West Coast by nine points in their last trip to the Perth venue.