St Kilda's Jones ready for key role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

St Kilda's Jones ready for key role

By Greg Buckle 21/09/2010 06:39:41 PM Comments (0)

With his blond mop and rock-star looks, it's not hard to picture Clint Jones screaming down the boundary line with his hand outstretched, begging for the easy handball.

But the kid from South Fremantle prefers the heavy going.

That's a good thing too because if St Kilda are going to cause an upset against Collingwood in Saturday's AFL grand final, Jones must do his share of heavy lifting.

The 183cm tagger says he's mentally preparing himself for a likely shut-down role on either Alan Didak or Dane Swan, both of whom were named in the 2010 All-Australian side.

"Collingwood have been in great form this year and those two guys in particular have had fantastic seasons so I'll just wait and see and look forward to whoever it may be," said Jones, who played on Gary Ablett in last year's decider.

Jones is well-placed to judge the relative strengths of Swan, third in Monday's Brownlow, and Ablett, the 2009 winner.

"They're both really good players. Very dangerous around goals both of them," the 26-year-old said.

"Their strength is through their hips, breaking tackles.

"Gaz, getting through packs is his strength and Swanny's gut running is his strength."

Jones' role will be to bump, jostle and annoy his opponent and get a few kicks off his own running forward. But the Saints tagger knows he'll get plenty of physical attention in return from the team-mates of Swan and Didak.

"I'll go through some vision with them and try to work out ways to stop them getting the ball and work off him as well," Jones said.

"Every player I've played on this year, I've had terrific support from my teammates as well so I rely on them heavily.

"When I first started doing those tagging roles every week I was really worried about who I was going to come up against knowing I've probably got the best player from the opposition.

"But as time has gone on it's become normal that you know you've got a really good player.

"I'm generally pretty relaxed before the game but this week might be a little bit different, a little bit more nervous.

"If a team wants to target an individual player, there's nothing much you can do.

"I just really try and concentrate on my role and get on with the job."

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