Nathan Jones (Australian rules footballer)
Jones in May 2007
|Full name||Nathan Jones|
|Date of birth||20 January 1988|
|Original team||Dandenong Stingrays (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||#12, 2005 National Draft|
|Height/Weight||180 cm / 86 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2014 season.
Nathan Jones (born 20 January 1988) is an Australian rules footballer and is the captain of the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was recruited as the number 12 draft pick in the 2005 AFL Draft from the Dandenong Stingrays.
Playing the last eight games of the 2006 AFL season, including Melbourne's two finals, Jones excelled, gathering numerous possessions, and showing much grunt and tenacity for someone in his debut season.
In 2007, in an otherwise disappointing season for Melbourne, Jones was a strong contender for the Rising Star award, placing third behind Joel Selwood and Scott Pendlebury. To cap off his season, he finished second in the club's best and fairest award (the Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal) with 190 votes, behind the winner James McDonald (260 votes).
Jones has only missed three games since debuting late in 2006, and has finished in the top five of the club's best and fairest in every year. This, combined with his relentless attack on the ball and willingness to put his body on the line, has made him one of the club's most consistent and promising young stars.
Despite a poor season from Melbourne in 2012, in which they finished 16th, Jones took his game to a new level, winning the club's best and fairest as well as polling 14 votes in the Brownlow Medal to finish in the top 20. He was elevated to vice captain prior to the 2013 season.
Jones continued to impress during the 2013 AFL season, resulting in back-to-back Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medals. Jones' notable improvement in his skill and leadership led him to be elected Melbourne co-captain alongside Jack Grimes in January 2014.
Early career: 2006–07
An All-Australian high school and under 18 player who saw his stocks rise even further after a 36 possession game in the 2005 TAC Cup Grand Final, Jones broke into the Demons senior side late in 2006 and maintained his spot right throughout the finals, earning a Rising Star nomination along the way. After the Demons were eliminated by Fremantle, Jones returned to Sandringham and played in their premiership side.
A fully established member of the Demon midfield, Jones played 21 games in 2007, earning a second Rising Star nomination and averaging five tackles a game. Despite the side losing ground on the field and finishing third last, Jones finished third overall in the Rising Star award and was second in the Demons best and fairest count.
In the 2008 wooden spoon campaign Jones played 21 games and established himself as one of his side's stars in a disappointing year. 2009 was another consistent season, and with 20 games for the year he was once again one of the better performers in a wooden spoon side. After the round 2 match against Collingwood, Jones' father was attacked by Magpies fans in an altercation outside the ground.
Jones was one of only two Demons to play every game in 2010. Despite being the first time he had played a complete season, the nuggety midfielder struggled at times and late in the year was given a series of tagging roles. Rumours linked him to an end of year trade, possibly to Essendon, but he was rewarded with a new contract which tied him to the club until the end of 2012. He once again played every game in 2011, kicking a career high 14 goals and establishing himself in the Demon midfield.
Best and fairests: 2012 onwards
The 2011 season provided a platform for his career best season in 2012, where he missed just one match and was his side's dominant midfielder despite the team crashing to just four wins for the year.
Five years after finishing second in the best and fairest in his second senior season Jones finally won the award.
In May 2013 Jones was appointed caretaker captain in the absence of the injured Jack Grimes. He was the club's most consistent midfielder in their disappointing two-win season – he played every match for the year and won his second best and fairest.
Prior to the 2014 AFL season, Jones was elected co-captain for his first full season along with Jack Grimes. In 2014, Jones arguably had his best season yet. He amassed a career high 610 disposals, the second most in the AFL, as well as having the third most clearances. He was considered unlucky to miss out on being in the 2014 All-Australian squad. To cap off the year, Jones won his third consecutive 'Bluey' Truscott Medal, edging out first year recruit Dom Tyson to become the first player since club legend Jim Stynes to win three best and fairests in a row.
At the end of 2014, Jones signed a four year contract with the Demons which will see him at the club until the end of 2019. 
In February 2015, with Jack Grimes relinquishing the co-captaincy at the end of the 2014 season, Jones was announced as the sole captain of the Melbourne Football Club with Lynden Dunn named Vice Captain
|Brownlow Medal votes|
|Green / Bold = Won|
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2014 season 
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
- Ralph, Jon (4 September 2014). "Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones wins third best and fairest award, Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince follow". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Russell, Mark (18 July 2012). "Demon player's father 'bashed for telling abusive Pies fan to calm down'". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- "2013 NAB AFL Draft". AFL Draft Hub. AFL. 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- Demons keen to keep Nathan Jones, AFL.com.au official website, 11 September 2014
- , "Herald Sun, 18 December 2014
- Nathan Jones' player profile at AFL Tables
- Nathan Jones's profile on the official website of the Melbourne Football Club
- Nathan Jones's statistics from AFL Tables
- Nathan Jones' Twitter account