Tim Jones (Tasmania)
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 78 kg
Strengths: Contested ball winning, clearance work, leadership
Weaknesses: Disposal efficiency
Player comparison: Brad Sewell
Tim Jones isn’t a name too many were familiar with before this year’s championships, but a stellar tournament from the hard-nosed midfielder has seen him rocket into draft contention.
With a new format coming into play for the National Championships this year, Division Two sides played each other once, as well as a few games throughout the year against TAC Cup opposition. Tasmania finished third with a 1-2 record in the Championships, beating Northern Territory on the final day for their only win. It was their only game televised on Fox Footy, but for Jones, it could be the turning point.
Jones led his side with 34 disposals, 13 contested possessions, six clearances, five inside 50’s and four tackles. 31 of his 34 touches came inside the first three quarters, of which he played 55 minutes. That’s better then a touch every two minutes, a feat in which AFL players rarely achieve through a half of footy, let alone three quarters.
It’s Jones’ sheer ability to find the football that is his greatest asset. If you combine his three championship games with the three games he’s played against TAC Cup sides Dandenong, Northern and Murray, he averages 33.5 disposals a game, eclipsing the 30 mark all but once, managing a somewhat sub-par 26 in the game against New South Wales.
Jones never shies away from the contest either so you’re likely to see him at the bottom of the pack trying to fish the ball out to team mates more often then not. The big knock on his game at the moment is his efficiency levels, as the midfielder ran at only 60 per cent throughout the Championships. Being as inside as he is though, efficiency isn’t as important as that of an outside midfielder or a player running off half back.
Another important quality Jones possesses is his leadership ability. Named as the vice-captain for the state team this year, Jones has not only lead through his actions but also through his words, often marshalling the troops at stoppages. Most of Jones’ disposals come in a pack situation, with the midfielder following the ball all over the ground for most of the game. He doesn’t tend to rest up forward or down back, but does rotate through the bench often to keep himself fresh, as he spends most of the game hunting the footy.
In a game against Northern back in June, Jones was a stand out and clearly the best player on the ground, despite Tasmania going down by 38 points. Jones had 35 touches and 10 tackles, and if the TAC Cup website recorded player clearances, would have had more then 10 of those too. It may not have been a good day for the team as a whole, but it was the beginning of a brilliant couple of months of football for Tim Jones.
Despite being only 78 kg, Jones is quite strong in the upper body and can hold his own against bigger midfielders, so if he finds himself onto an AFL list in the upcoming draft, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play a few games in his debut year.