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Jones edges out young recruit in Dees' best and fairest

Nathan Jones of Melbourne in action during the 2014 AFL Round 09 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Melbourne Demons at the MCG, Melbourne on May 17, 2014. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Nathan Jones has won his third successive Melbourne best and fairest
NATHAN Jones has equalled the feat of club great Jim Stynes, winning three consecutive Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medals as Melbourne's best and fairest player in 2014.
 
The Demons co-captain was bestowed with the honour in front of teammates, coaches and fans at Crown Palladium on Thursday night.

Jones made special mention of coach Paul Roos for taking him out of his "comfort zone" and pushing him to become a better player.
 
He also had a poignant message for the fans and those with a strong interest in where the club is heading.
 
"In the time that I've been here I think we've lacked direction, but I can guarantee I've never been more confident in the direction that we're heading now," Jones said as he accepted his award.
 
"We've got some terrific stability from the top down and I really believe we have true trust in the coaching staff and belief in the game plan and I have belief, more importantly, in my teammates and the players I stand alongside on the weekends.
 
"I honestly don't think success is too far away."
 
Jones polled 311 votes to edge out first-year Demon and runner-up Dom Tyson (293), while Bernie Vince held down third position (270).
 
Vastly-improved defender Lynden Dunn (264) and veteran Daniel Cross (238) rounded out the top-five.
 
Jones now finds himself in esteemed company, with Stynes the only other player to achieve three successive best and fairest wins. The club legend accomplished that feat in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
 
Jones had his career-best season in 2014, following on from impressive individual campaigns in 2012 and 2013.
 
He gathered career-highs in disposals (27.7 per game), tackles (5.2), clearances (6.2), contested possessions (11.6) and uncontested possessions (16.1).
 
In addition, Jones was second in the competition for total disposals (610) and fourth in clearances (138) and was desperately unlucky not to earn an All Australian nomination in the squad of 40.
 
In a nod to Melbourne's aggressive and targeted recruiting policy in the off-season, Tyson, Vince and Cross all made significant impacts in their first seasons at the club.
 
Jones is now one 'Bluey' win away from joining all-time leaders Stynes and Allan La Fontaine with four Melbourne best and fairest awards.
 
The votes are cast by four members of Melbourne's match committee who give players a score from 0-10 for each game.
 
2014 Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Medal Leaderboard: 
1.   Nathan Jones (311)
2.   Dom Tyson (293)
3.   Bernie Vince (270)
4.   Lynden Dunn (264)
5.   Daniel Cross (238)
6.   Jeremy Howe (220)
7.   Tom McDonald (212)
8.   James Frawley (192)
9.   Neville Jetta (191)
10.  Jack Watts (185)
 
Troy Broadbridge Award (Casey Scorpions' best and fairest) – Max Gawn
Norm Smith Award (Coaches' award) – Neville Jetta
Ron Barassi Jnr Award (leadership award) - Lynden Dunn
Ian Ridley Award (club ambassador award) - Jack Watts
Harold Ball Award (best first-year player) - Dom Tyson
James McDonald Award (best team man) – Daniel Cross