Jones as motivated as ever

16 May 2020 19:19:29 GMTPlus10

A desire to keep playing is the key factor for 32-year-old Melbourne defender Nathan Jones.

He admitted he felt last season, when the Demons finished next to bottom on the ladder, "broke" him and led him to step down as captain.

Closing in on his 300th game for the club, Jones says he feels energised to continue his career and won't set any limits on it at this stage.

The midfielder needs 14 more appearances to become just Melbourne's second player to the 300-games mark. He would then have David Neitz's club record of 306 in his sights.

"I'd love to get there," said Jones. "But I haven't really capped it; I'll play 'til I'm not playing to the level I'm satisfied with.

"Providing you've still got the mental capacity to want to continue and push yourself to the limit, and you're in top physical shape, I don't see there being any limitation on how long you play for, until your form doesn't stack up. Right now, I'm as excited and motivated as ever."

Jones, who missed the round one clash with West Coast due to the flare-up of an Achilles strain, is drawing inspiration from athletes older than he is - Hawthorn's 37-year-old Shaun Burgoyne, for one.

"A lot of them have similar sorts of messages: look after your body, quality over quantity," he said. "A lot of it comes down to where their heads are at. I still love the game of footy,and I still want to be a part of it, and push myself, and see how far I can go."

Jones, who is contracted only until the end of the year, is hopeful the Demons can return to the kind of form they showed in 2018 when they finished fifth on the ladder. They then beat Geelong and Hawthorn in the first two weeks of the finals, before losing to West Coast in the preliminary final.

"The team hasn't really changed," he said. "Deep down, we all know what we're capable of.

"I guess it's harnessing that. I'm confident we can, but we've got to get some momentum up, get some runs on the board."

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