Will His Star Ever Shine in the SuperCoach Sky?
Since I’ve started watching footy, one team that I’ve tried my best to avoid was the Melbourne Demons. Meek offense. Defensive pressure seemed optional. Every quarter bathed with eye-pinching blunders and Norm-Smith-grave-spinning miscues.
In general, a Dees game was like being stuck in 45°C closet watching a Gwyneth Paltrow romantic comedy next to a bucket of horse piss. The only ray of sunshine was witnessing the unceasing tenacity of Nathan Jones. With the bald head, stocky frame and covered in lightly menacing tattoos, he looked like a lowbrow version of Gary Ablett.
And like the Little Master, Jones did it all for the Dees. He led them in disposals, clearances, contested possessions and disposal efficiency, just name a few categories. Yet unlike Gazza, Jones’ SC averages were rather, well, unAblett-like (89-97-90 for 2011-2013). So same I started calling him “Bogan Ablett.”
Watching Jones you saw a hungry warrior on a lame duck team. It didn’t take stealing The Crouching One’s slipper to figure out with a stronger coach and supporting cast, Jones’ SC average would be heading head north for the season.
Enter Paul Roos and a bangle of midfielders (the other position group classifications: a shart of defenders, a manatee of rucks and a flan of forwards). Roos’ disposal heavy system was tailored made for Jones. And with newbies Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross and Dom Tyson aboard, he’d have a talented posse to help boost his game.
And man, did his’ game take an upswing. How about we belly up to the stats bar and do some Nathan Jones shots…
|Games last season:||22|
|Average last season:||108.1|
|100+ games last season:||13|
|Sub 80 games last season:||2|
|Price range last season:||$486k-$550k|
|Missed games last season:||0|
|Significant history:||Ranked 4th in total effective disposals in 2014
Dee’s B&F for 3rd straight year (ties Jim Stynes)
Has only missed 3 games in 5 seasons
Going from a 90 SuperCoach average to 108 is pretty Bon Scott rawkin’ (Hi Wombats!). Looking at some of the numbers that matter to coaches, his disposal output increased by a whopping 100! (509 to 610) His tackling jumped from 76 to 115. And because being in the guts is Jones’ candy and nuts, his clearance numbers were as stout as always (6.3/game, ranked 6th for total clearances).
These are premium mid numbers put up by someone whose only gear is balls-out. The question is: can Jones’ play rise to touch the hem of SC eliteness in 2015? Or will he put his 108 average under cinder blocks in the front yard and stay the Bogan Ablett?
Although Jones doesn’t go sub 80 too often, when he does the numbers can sink pretty low (60 and 71. And in 2013 he shat a 46…with a 92% time on ground). Surprisingly his lowest 2014 score was against GWS. And like a lot of premium mids, Jones’ highest scores come early when his SC price is wearing tails and a top hat.
Jones’ battle-tested body and increased SC numbers are impressive. But is it enough to slot in our side?
- Plays through injuries so you don’t have to worry about a last-minute out.
- And effort never wanes. Puts it all on the field.
- With another year under Roos and his supporting cast growing in confidence, Jones’ numbers shouldn’t regress.
- A reliable tonner is always a good addition.
- Not a goal scorer. Weakest area by far. 7 goals this year. 8 goals in 2013. Maybe because his goal accuracy is 43%.
- When he goes big, it’s not HUGE. That’s not technically bad, I know. But 142 was his 2014 tops. And his highest career SC score is 156…notched back in 2007! So for the price, Jones isn’t gonna deliver that whopper score you expect your premium mids to deliver.
Slotting Jones from the start would probably qualify you for anti-psychotic medication. In the 2014 Prospectus’ review of the Demon it stated that it’s not a good sign for your team if Nathan Jones is your #1 midfielder. And I agree.
While his determination and dogs-of-war approach are traits I admire, there’s rarely anything he does that’s transcendent. And his SC numbers reflect that. Solid and impressive, yes. But rarely inspiring peak arousal levels.
Heyo Community! Spot on or I’m out to lunch? Let’s rumble!
|THE 2015 SUPERCOACH OFF SEASON SERIES.
This article has been penned by an elite Supercoach analyst hand picked from the talent pool of the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Community. He has stood up within our community as a man of fantasy substance, and has displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.