Emerging forward Harrison Jones has returned to full training after an injury-interrupted start to pre-season.

The 20-year-old, whose breakout 2021 season was floored by a foot injury in August, was placed on a modified program following surgery to address the underlying issue.

Jones said he was nearing full fitness, 60 days out from Essendon’s season opener against Geelong at the MCG on March 19.

“I’m still trying to load it up and get that (foot) right, but I’m making some really good inroads. I’m pretty much back to full training,” Jones told SEN 1116.

“This year I want to continually improve. Now that I’m back training fully, I want to keep growing my game and add little parts and pieces.”

09:51 Mins
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ICYMI | Jones on SEN

Forward Harry Jones's appearance on SEN Breakfast from Wednesday January 12.

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Jones was part of a group of talented Bombers youngsters who fuelled the side’s rise to finals in 2021, making his debut in round one and playing a further 15 games for a total of 20 goals.

The No.30 pick in the 2019 national draft said he was continuing to build his frame as he looks to spearhead an Essendon attack that ranked fourth for goals per game in 2021.

“Definitely (want to add weight), especially if I want to play that key-position role in the forward line, which hopefully I can get to,” he said.

“I put on a lot in my first year when I wasn’t really playing, and I’ve been slowly building that up. I’m up around 90 kilos now, but continue to get stronger and bigger, which is a big thing for a lot of young guys at the club. That’s a big area for my development to become that booming key forward.”

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From a team perspective, Jones has been impressed with the output of his peers this pre-season, pointing to a growing unity as a key driver in their improvement.

“We’re not putting a limit on anything this year. We’re just trying to continually improve and get better every week, and I think we’ve made some really good inroads in that area,” he said.

“We continue to enjoy time with each other and our time at the club, and I think that’s a really big part of why we’re improving. Hopefully that will take us to the next level.”


The Bombers’ tight-knit group of youngsters grew by three in the off-season, with teenagers Ben Hobbs, Alastair Lord and Patrick Voss welcomed over the draft period.

17:05 Mins
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Jones said the trio, along with mature-age draftee Garrett McDonagh and free agent Jake Kelly, had hit the ground running, singling out line-breaking defender Lord.

“All of them have been awesome. They’ve come in with a hardworking mindset and a want to get better,” he said.

“My little mate ‘Lordy’ has really impressed me, not only on the track but even off it learning the game-plan. He’s a switched-on young fella.”