LACHIE Jones' desire to be drafted by Port Adelaide stretches beyond just playing for the team he grew up supporting. It also might convert a household.
Jones, who is tied to the Power as a Next Generation Academy prospect, looms as a possible top-15 pick at this year's NAB AFL Draft after an excellent season playing at senior level for Woodville-West Torrens' senior side.
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The attacking half-back is viewed as ready to play, and Port will get first access to him under the NGA rules. The 18-year-old is hoping if he can arrive at Alberton Oval that it might also change his family's allegiances.
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"At the end of the day Port's the ideal destination for me," Jones told AFL.com.au's Road to the Draft podcast.
"I grew up supporting Port in a family full of Crows supporters. That's something I've always held close to me. That's the ideal scenario, but coming off a year like this I can't be too picky.
"It's had its ups and downs, definitely when the Crows were going all right and making the Grand Final. I was too young to see Port's last flag but they've been pretty supportive since the program took off. Dad's jumped ship a little bit but my brother and sister not so much, and Mum's cruisey.
"Definitely at the Showdowns we'd go to, I'd have a sad face and the siblings would be happy or vice versa. I'm sure they'll all jump on board if that goes well or anywhere I'm sure they'd be happy to follow."
Jones was closely involved with Port Adelaide throughout 2019, heading to the club every fortnight as part of the Academy program and at the end of last year he also trained with the Power as they kickstarted their pre-season.
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Due to the COVID-19 protocols he has been unable to get there this year, but Jones has kept in touch with former player and head of the Academy, Paul Stewart.
"Last year every second week I was trying to get to the club and it involved a bit of craft, weights, recovery and then sitting down and doing a bit of game review with Paul Stewart. I try to make the most of my time there but this year has been tough, I haven't been to the club since pre-season training but it will all work out. It's still a waiting game," he said.
"One of the biggest things I took out of training at the club was high training standards. And the self-driven standards as well. That was a real eye-opener, training at the club the players were driving most of the drills and the standard it was performed at was game-like."
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Jones' penetrating kicking has been a feature of his consistent season for the Eagles this year, while the 185cm and 88kg prospect has also shown his ability in the air, including an athletic high grab several weeks ago.
Port Adelaide’s NGA talent Lachie Jones flies for a big grab. Easy to see why clubs have him ranked around the top-10 this year. Ready to go. https://t.co/FDgFJBUbkZ— Callum Twomey (@CalTwomey) September 12, 2020
Recruiters consider him one of the most ready-to-play draft hopefuls in the 2020 crop, and he said playing at senior level throughout this year had been beneficial.
"I definitely think it will help. Obviously to go through the AFL pre-season program I think I'll be a little bit in front of people considering I'm a decent-sized body so it all adds up," he said. "Moving into next year I think I could transition fairly easily."