Tom Jonas after the round 23 match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium on August 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide captain Tom Jonas has announced his retirement with no guarantee his career will end with a finals swansong.

Jonas, who was named Port's co-captain in 2019 before taking the role solo a year later, has played just 12 AFL games this year due to a combination of injury, suspension and selection. 

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The 32-year-old was dropped in round 12, a move coach Ken Hinkley labelled "a significant call", and has been in and out of the senior side since then.

He's played in the Power's past three matches as a replacement for the injured Trent McKenzie, who is expected to overcome a knee injury in time for the finals. But Jonas will remain available for selection as the club eyes a run at a first premiership in almost two decades next month.

"There's a game late in September that we'll probably hang around for, so that's what it looks like for us," Jonas said on Tuesday.

"Where I sit in the scheme of things, I'm just going to continue to try play the best footy I can play for the group each week.

Tom Jonas leads his team out for the round 21 match between Geelong and Port Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium, August 5, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

"What happens with selection is out of my control.

"But I have got full trust and confidence in Kenny making the right call for the club, as he has done for what 12 years now.

"We have been really transparent the whole way through with the conversations we had.

"There's certainly never been anything that's come out of the blue so we will wait and see where that sits."


Jonas added: "Don't get me wrong, I wasn't putting my hand up not to play."

The key defender conceded modern game speed has overtaken him this season.

"I was never blessed with foot speed so that has always been a little challenge," he said.

"The game is evolving and our team is evolving - you look at the expectations of high forwards now and that means the equivalent is there for the high backs.

Tom Jonas and Ken Hinkley before a pre-season game in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

"You look at how tall but also how fast full-forwards are, at 200 centimetres.

"I probably slowed down a little bit, that's just the reality of the situation."

Jonas, who has played 215 AFL games, was lauded for his leadership by coach Hinkley.

"He embodies everything around Port Adelaide - fearless, tough, aggressive, no prisoners," Hinkley said.

Tom Jonas after Port Adelaide's loss to Collingwood in R2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"Tom has made absolutely the most with the talent that he was given.

"And he's achieved ultimately more than anyone else I would have seen in my time in football, with the level of talent, just through desperation and honesty.

"He is the perfect person when it comes to giving your all."

Originally drafted as a rookie from SANFL club Norwood in 2010, Jonas made his senior debut in Port's historic 165-point loss to Hawthorn in round 21, 2011.

He solidified his place in the side by playing 21 games in 2013 and had been an important part of the Power's defence ever since.

Tom Jonas and debutant Lachie Jones after Port Adelaide's round four win over Richmond at Adelaide Oval on April 9, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's been a fair rollercoaster but for me there have been so many more ups than downs," Jonas said.

"You reflect on moments that maybe at the time were tough and challenging, exhausting or sad, but ultimately, they’re what makes you appreciate the good times and they’re what make you galvanise relationships and friendships with everyone that you spend time with along the way.

"The good thing about this for me is that the final chapter hasn’t been written, and that’s really exciting. For me it was about removing any distraction from the team with what we’ve got to look forward to in the month ahead."

Tom Jonas and Travis Boak after Port Adelaide's loss to Adelaide in R3, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Among his distinctions, Jonas was nominated for the All-Australian team three times, finished runner-up in the club best and fairest in 2018 and was named best team man twice.

He is one of just 11 men to have played more than 200 AFL games for the Power.

"You'd love to play forever but inevitably it comes to an end," Jonas said.

"I wouldn't have the biggest highlight reel so I've always cherished the team accomplishments and watching the team grow and achieve their goals, knowing I've played a small part. That’s where I've taken my fulfilment, not so much from what I've done myself."