Lachie Jones during the Qualifying Final between Brisbane and Port Adelaide at The Gabba, September 9, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide's Lachie Jones says it took a while but the proverbial penny has now dropped.

The power-packed Port backman says changes on and off the field have raised his confidence of staying injury-free and delivering the consistency he craves.

"It's easy to say it has been my best pre-season yet, I am feeling really confident this year," Jones said.

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"Obviously I have had a few years of injuries, but I have been able to train well and be consistent at training, not so hit and miss, which gives me great confidence that I can get through a full season hopefully and steer clear of injury."

Jones is entering his fourth AFL season after being restricted to 35 games by hamstring injuries in his initial two seasons and a broken jaw last year.


The versatile defender has revised his running technique to prevent further hamstring injuries while retaining his renowned speed.

"I hadn't done a soft tissue injury prior to coming into the AFL," said the 2020 draftee.

"Obviously loads go up and whatever, but I have always been a fairly powerful athlete and like getting into the gym and getting more power.

"My running technique was something that I had to clean up, which we did.


"The times when I was doing the hamstrings, I was running a little bit too fast for myself and maybe overdoing it, so just dialling back a little bit but still knowing being fast is one of my strengths.

"There has been a few refinements, a few biomechanic things ... it was a bit of a pain to come into the (AFL) system and have to deal with it, but in saying that, it's done now and I have learnt."

The other lessons learnt for the 21-year-old from Bute on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula, have been off-field at the behest of coach Ken Hinkley.


"He (Hinkley) has put a fair bit of time into me," Jones said ahead of Port's home season-opener against West Coast on Sunday.

"I wouldn't say he's hard on me but we're always talking, making sure I'm doing the right things.

"It probably took me the first three years of my career to really learn how important dieting, recovery, rehab, are.

"Not being the young self that I am any more, and being a bigger body, I need to look after it a bit more ... we haven't reached where I want to be, so over the next year we will get a good look at those changes."