K rock Football

JJ keen to remain in the Hoops

Will Jamaine Jones be at Geelong in 2020? (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

OUT-of-contract Geelong tyro Jamaine Jones is hopeful of being offered a new deal to remain at the club when he sits down with Cats list manager Stephen Wells in the coming weeks.

A 2017 Rookie Draft selection, Jones made his AFL debut last year and played seven senior games.

However, the small forward pressure specialist has been unable to add to that tally this season, sitting behind star veteran Gary Ablett, experienced recruits Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus, and fellow rookie Tom Atkins in the pecking order.

Instead, Jones has played 16 VFL games and shapes as an important figure in Geelong’s premiership push at the lower level.

“I’ve had a few chats with people and I’m sure I’ll sit down with Stephen Wells soon and have a chat to him to see where we are at,” Jones told krockfootball.com.au.

“It is a great place to be at the moment and I’d love to stick around here to be with these boys.”

VFL: CATS AWAY AS THE HOME TEAM

Jones, who turns 21 next month, has averaged 14.5 disposals and 4.8 tackles this VFL season, and sits fourth on Geelong’s goalkicking list with 15.13 for the year.

Jones missed the Cats’ penultimate home-and-away match through illness but returned to play an important role in the 41-point win over Essendon in a solid hit-out before the finals.

“This year was about playing consistent football and keep putting my hand up whenever I can for the AFL team,” he said.

“I feel like I’ve definitely put my hand up a few times and played consistently.

“Those couple of games I did play (last year) and the tempo of it has definitely made me a better footy player than I already was.

“With the support of ‘Cheese’ (VFL coach Shane O’Bree) and him helping me out with my football, it’s definitely at another level.

“I feel like I’m a leader out there, as well, with the younger lads.”

While disappointed not to have been given more chances at the top level, Jones has maintained a positive attitude and is highly regarded internally as one of the VFL team’s heart-and-soul players.

“He’s the energizer for us,” O’Bree said.

“He’s so strong around the contest and he’s done a lot of work on that.

“If he’s in the contest or the ball’s around him, you just know that he’s a fair chance of winning it or making the tackle and putting pressure on.

“We need him playing the way he did (against Essendon) and how he has for the whole back half of the year.”

O’Bree has been pleased with Jones’ overall development as a pressure forward in the last two years.

“That’s what he got drafted as and now that he’s stronger and fitter he can do it more often and impact more over games,” O’Bree said.

“But I reckon he’s become a more complete player by using the ball more effectively when he does get it, and he gets more of the ball too.”

Twitter: @shayne_hope