Jones attributes improvement to pre-season, Dew, Francou

A move to midfield for the 37 game veteran appears to be paying off in spades for the zippy youngster, taking his game to the next level and running the Lions ragged in the Swans 54 point win on Sunday.

The 22-year old had a day out, enjoying a career-high 27 disposals, with six clearances and a fantastic pack-breaking running goal in the 2nd quarter to put the game well and truly beyond the reach of the Lions.

It was by far the best game in his fledgling career, on the back of vast improvements in fitness, average disposals (up to 22 from 14 in 2016) and consistency in impressive start to 2017.

Arguably the best on ground, he narrowly missed out on 10 votes, nipped by the irresistible Franklin and his wicked eight-goal haul.

“It was definitely one of my better games for how many games I’ve played,” Jones, a veteran of just 37 games, said on Monday.

“Hopefully I can build from that game and then build on that momentum throughout the year.”

Jones puts his improvement down to his uninterrupted pre-season, plus extra work with midfield coaches Stuart Dew and Josh Francou.

“I spent more time with the midfield during the pre-season and that’s something I wanted to build on,” Jones added.

“Hopefully I can put my hand up and go forward from there and take every opportunity as they come.”

And if Longmire has anything to do with it, the rapidly improving player will be spending more time in the midfield, and given every opportunity to perform at the top level.

“He’s one player that has been consistent for us,” Longmire said of Jones post-match.

“He’s a young player in the team who’s got more confident every game.

“We know he’s a really good player for us and we’ve got enormous faith in him to not only play well, which he does and has consistently been doing, but drive the group as a young leader coming through.

“He’s very good at it – he was good at it last year and he’s been fantastic at it this year under real adversity, and they’re good character traits to have.”

The impressive youngster will need to be back at his best for the clash against fellow cellar dwellars North Melbourne this weekend, boasting quality throughout the midfield, plenty of grunt and lot of outside run.

The 'Roos won their second game of the season on the weekend, belting the high-flying Crows in Tasmania, and Jones expects a tight, tough contest.

“They always bring a tough fight every game,” Jones added.

“We have to bring the same aggression we did this week and continue what we’ve spoken about (internally) during the week.”

Another performance like that will go a long way towards securing victory for the Swans, and give them every chance of leap-frogging the beleaguered Roos on the ladder. They've been impressive, narrowly losing games to three top teams this season.

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia

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