Port Adelaide young gun Lachie Jones has taken his opportunity at AFL footy by the scruff of the neck.
The 188cm, 88kg defender has already gained a cult following, renowned for his hard tackling and AFL-ready build.
A moustachioed, mullet-rocking, hard nut who plays with both poise and aggression, Jones rose to the challenge against Richmond in Friday night’s two-point victory.
The night of the game also happened to be his 19th birthday, and what a celebration it was.
Speaking on Tuesday, Jones was enamoured by the bustling Adelaide Oval home crowd.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” he said.
“I heard the crowd cheer when I came on, when I got my first touch. I wasn’t expecting it. It was pretty exciting.”
Jones made an early impression on the Power crowd, stealing the footy straight out of Tigers’ defender Jayden Short’s hands and beginning the play.
Hamish Hartlett and Charlie Dixon would combine up the field, eventuating in a Xavier Duursma goal.
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While the game was full of memorable moments, injuries soured the thrilling victory.
Jones believes his teammates are keen to bounce back quickly, the group getting around them.
“Zak Butters went in for surgery last night and he’s in bright spirits after all went well,” Jones said.
“Duursma goes in tonight and we’ve all wished him well.”
What can’t be soured though are Jones’ memories from the night that he’ll hold forever.
A key match-up against a decorated Tigers champion was both intimidating and exciting for the youngster.
“It was pretty daunting coming up against Dusty in my first game,” he said.
“Had my welcome to footy moment; he fended me off and kicked a goal. But I thought I settled in and found my feet pretty early.”
While Jones finished the night with an impressive 17 touches, six marks, four inside 50s and eight intercept possessions, the numbers didn’t phase him.
Only one mattered in the end.
“Running out on the oval and getting my first touch is something I’ll never forget.”
Jones has given himself every chance to play in Saturday’s night prime-time clash against Carlton at the MCG.
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