Demon champion Nathan Jones announced his retirement less than two weeks before the Grand Final. He informed his teammates via Zoom after leaving the club's hub in Perth to return home to be by his wife's side as she gave birth to twins. He flew out Saturday and made it just hours before she gave birth. Jones, 33, has not played a senior game since Round 14. He was an unused sub for Round 15 but was not recalled since. With West Australia's tight border restrictions, it was unlikely he would be allowed back across the border for the Grand Final. His career finishes with 101 wins, 198 defeats, and three draws. He kicked 141 goals in his 302 games. He was a Rising Star nominee in 2006 and 2007 and won the club best and fairest 2012, 2013, and 2014. He was co-captain in 2014 and 2017-19 and captain in 2015 and 2016.
Jones said it was a bittersweet way to bow out, "Personally I've had a lot of emotions go through my mind from how it's all unfolded. From an individual perspective, it's been disappointing, to say the least, knowing the work I've put in. But what I want to stress is that regardless of that I am still filled with the utmost amount of joy, happiness, and pride for the position the club is now in. From my experiences, footy is a ruthless game and we shouldn't take what we've built and created this season for granted. Over the years, the two things that have driven me to stay committed to this footy club have been firstly, the chance to play in a premiership one day and secondly, to ensure that no young player coming into Melbourne would have the experience I did for many years, I wanted to leave the club in a better place. Looking at where the club is now, I am proud of where we are and I'm so excited for the opportunity that my teammates have ahead of them, to write a new chapter in the club's history."
He posted the following message on Instagram:
"Odie Reign Jones + Dove Margot Jones 🤍🤍
Arriving Sunday morning 7.55 and 7.56 AM, @jerri_jones is a genuine boss mum. So grateful to have made it back in time, I made it with only hours to spare. Once the door was closed on an opportunity to play with my @melbournefc brothers, I had to be home with my family, a decision I'll never regret. Thank you for all of the support from our family during this time and well wishes from friends and the many, many people who have reached out! We are looking forward to getting home ASAP and introducing Odie and Dove to their big sister and brother and officially starting our family of 6 🤍🤍🤍🤍"
St Kilda has delisted Category B rookie Sam Alabakis and defender Oscar Clavarino. Alabakis, a former basketballer from the USA, was drafted in 2019, but never played a senior game. Clavarino was drafted in 2017, debuted in 2021 and managed five senior games.
Essendon has terminated Irving Mosquito's contract after he decided he did not have the desire to continue at the AFL level. He was rehabilitating from a long-term ACL injury and the club granted him a leave of absence to return home to West Australia in May. List manager Josh Mahoney said, " ... Since he arrived at the club at the end of 2018, we have closely supported Irving to settle into Melbourne whilst balancing and maintaining a strong connection to his community back in Halls Creek. After Irving sustained the ACL injury in September last year, he was open with us about his lack of motivation and desire to play at an AFL level again, and we had granted him time away from the club to return back home ... to best support him to make an informed decision ... While this was not an easy decision for Irving, he feels it will be best for him to return to Halls Creek to start the next chapter of his life, and we understand that ... ". Mosquito debuted in 2020 and played four games. Mosquito said he was grateful for the Bombers' support throughout his time away, "It was a pretty tough decision ... and I had to weigh up whether I could commit to a full 12-month recovery program to get my knee right. In the end, I realized I didn’t have the passion that was required ... so it’s the right time to consider life away from football. The club has been great with their support of me and my family, I can’t thank them enough. I will miss my teammates and being at the club every day. I wish the boys well for next season, I’ll always love this club."
The club also delisted Ned Cahill and Lachie Johnson. Both were drafted in 2019. Cahill played six games, while Johnson - the son of triple premiership Lion Chris, failed to debut.
Geelong has delisted Ben Jarvis and Cameron Taheny, while forward Josh Jenkins decided to retire. Jarvis was drafted in 2018 but played just one senior game in 2020. He was called in to replace Gary Rohan, who was a late withdrawal in a match against Richmond. Taheny was drafted as a rookie in 2019 but never managed a senior game.
Jenkins, 32, was originally drafted as a rookie by Essendon in 2010 but never managed a senior game. He was traded to Adelaide at the end of 2011. He played 147 games and kicked 296 goals for the Crows before being traded to Geelong at the end of 2019. He was contracted to Adelaide until the end of 2021, but the trade deal included offloading part of his contract by the Crows. Jenkins managed just one game in each of his two seasons with the Cats. Jenkins said, “Eleven-and-a-half years ago I was running around pretending to be a professional basketball player ... Fast forward a dozen years and my AFL career ends with so much more than I ever could’ve wished for. I've experienced three fantastic clubs, beginning ... at Essendon and finishing ... as a Geelong Cat. In the middle were eight seasons as an Adelaide Crow. And almost all of those eight were memorable for all the right reasons. Sometimes in life we get stuck in the moment and forget about the story in its entirety. My time as a Crow was amazing and one day we will return to our home on the beach in Glenelg. My AFL career pales into insignificance to hundreds of fellow players who have achieved the ultimate success or been individuals who have amassed countless individual awards but I achieved a lot more than an ex-basketballer ... could have ever wished for - and for that I am proud."
Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guide
Article last changed on Monday, September 20, 2021 - 5:52 PM EDT