AFL Grand Final: Former Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones has no regrets about leaving Perth ahead of Saturday’s decider
Former Melbourne captain Nathan Jones has had the best and worst weeks of his life at the same time but has no regrets about leaving his team in Perth ahead of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.
After knowing he wouldn’t get to add to his 302 games for the Demons, Jones left the team hub in Perth to make it to Melbourne just in time for the birth of his twins.
That happened just a day after the Demons won through to a first grand final for 21 years.
Since then Jones said he has gone through a “range of emotions” having also confirmed his retirement from the AFL.
“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t,” he told Fox Footy’s On The Couch on Monday night.
“How I feel as a player and as an individual and as a competitor, absolutely there is disappointment.
“There’s a whole range of emotions I’m going through that will probably take some time to sort of work my way through.
“On the flip side of that, there’s this huge amount of joy and pride in where the club is at now, and the opportunity that presents itself.”
Jones, a two-time best and fairest and Demons captain through some dark periods in the club’s recent history, conceded there were no fairy tales in football as he came to terms with missing the grand final showdown with the Western Bulldogs.
“Unfortunately, footy is a ruthless bloody game and that’s the position I find myself in,” he said.
“Yeah, there‘s no doubt I feel disappointed at that, but in the end I couldn’t control that.
“For most of the year my mentality was control everything I could, give as much as I could, commit as strongly as I could – and whatever happens, happens.”
But while he stands above all as the true hard-luck story of this year’s grand final, he knows he made the right call.
“It’s been a helluva week,” he said.
“It‘s probably one of the best moments I’ve had, watching my two other children meet our two latest children.
“In my mind, it was pretty clear,” he said
“I wanted to get home and be part of something pretty bloody special.”
“What a moment it was and definitely a decision I will never regret.”
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