Rowan Jones
Photo: aflphotos.com.au
DOB
19/11/1979
Height
187cm
Weight
82 kg
Junior club
Claremont/Scotch College
Arrived
Pick 28 in the 1997 national draft
Number
31 (1998 – 1999)
18 (1999 – 2007)
Debut
Round 19 1998 vs Sydney
(115th Eagles player)
Games
158
Goals
70
Honours
Premiership medal (2006)
Best Clubman (2001)
B&F Top 10
3 (2000, 2001, 2003)
Best Finish
3rd (2001)
Last app.
Semi Final 2007 vs Collingwood
Departed
Retired at the end of the 2007 season
Other clubs
Claremont (WAFL) 1997-2007

Much-maligned for a large part of his career, Jones is best remembered as one of the heroes of the 2006 grand final win over Sydney.

West Coast career[edit | edit source]

Selected in the second round of the 1997 draft (just before Simon Black, but let’s not dwell on that), Jones made only a couple of unremarkable late-season appearances in 1998. He was able to force his way into the side in his second season, playing 16 games including the losing semi-final against Carlton.

The useful utility player was a regular in the senior side for the next few years, playing 20 games in 2000 and 18 in 2001 during the dark post-Malthouse era. 2001 was probably his best year - as well as coming equal third in the Club Champion award the unobtrusive youngster also picked up the Best Clubman medal, showing just how highly regarded he was around the club.

A knee injury cut short his 2002 season but Jones rebounded in 2003, playing every game and finally starting to earn accolades for consistently doing all of the little things that often go unnoticed – second efforts, tackles and laying blocks for the bigger-name midfielders like Judd, Cousins and Kerr. This was reflected in his selection as a vice-captain under Cousins for the 2004 season.

Unfortunately, his elevation to the leadership group coincided with a loss of form. Although Jones played 16 senior games in 2004, he struggled to have an impact on games, spent some time at Claremont (for the first time since the 1990s) and missed selection for the elimination final as his always-questionable kicking skills started to become a real concern. His 100th senior appearance against North Melbourne was a good indicator of how his season went, RoJo getting just 5 touches in a disappointing loss at Manuka Oval.

Consequently, when the 2005 season rolled around Jones found himself dropped from the leadership group and dropped to the WAFL. Despite racking up some big numbers with the Tigers, selectors seemed reluctant to recall Jones. He had to wait until late in the season for his opportunity, playing three of the last six games home-and-away games but found himself back at Claremont as the finals started. Surprisingly recalled for the preliminary final against Adelaide, Jones probably did enough to hold his spot for the following week but was ruled out after suffering a knee injury at training. He watched from the stands along with Lynch, Braun, Phil Matera and Brett Jones as his teammates suffered a heartbreaking loss to Sydney.

Back in the side on a regular basis and back in the form that he displayed earlier in his career, Jones played a big role in the team’s run to the grand final in 2006. Quiet throughout the big day, Jones had a massive impact in the final seconds, winning a critical contested ball and feeding out a handball to Lynch to prevent a desperate Sydney forward thrust.

Now a premiership player, Jones played almost every game in 2007, his best performance coming in the final round of the regular season when he had 30 touches and 3 goals to drag West Coast over the line against the Bombers in James Hird’s last match.

Despite being in good form and still months short of his 28th birthday, Jones announced his retirement at the end of the 2007 season to pursue a career in finance and spend more time with his family. His surprise retirement came at a time of immense upheaval for the club, along with Chris Judd’s defection to Carlton and the controversial delistings of fellow premiership players Ben Cousins and Daniel Chick, and as a result was somewhat overshadowed. Despite vocal criticism from fans later in his career, Jones left a legacy as a premiership winner, 150-game player and Best Clubman.

Stats[edit | edit source]

AFL Gm G B K M H D T Cl WAFL Gm G B K M H D
1998 1 1 0 3 2 2 5 2 0 Clar 10 9
1999 16 7 5 68 27 70 138 20 15 4 5
2000 20 8 10 138 41 134 272 56 56 0
2001 18 11 4 115 51 133 248 54 55 0
2002 13 6 0 66 22 105 171 42 25 0
2003 23 14 15 183 93 175 358 64 14 0
2004 16 0 4 74 45 122 196 41 30 3 0
2005 4 2 2 27 13 35 62 7 7 17 15
2006 23 9 16 178 117 274 452 57 34 1 0 3 20 8 20 40
2007 23 12 5 191 101 245 436 43 30 0
Tot 158 70 61 1043 512 1295 2338 386 266
Avg 0.4 6.6 3.2 8.2 14.8 2.4 1.7

References[edit | edit source]

http://afltables.com/afl/stats/players/R/Rowan_Jones.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_Jones

http://www.wafl.com.au/players/view/373

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