Young key forward Harry Jones has become the Bombers’ second NAB AFL Rising Star nominee in as many games, earning the nod for his commanding performance in Sunday’s 13-point win over Hawthorn.
The 20-year-old was a constant presence in attack at UTAS Stadium, registering 14 disposals, two goals, eight marks and a game-high 15.9km from 90 per cent time on ground.
Jones’ five contested marks were also a game-high, seeing him become the second quickest player since the stat was recorded to take five or more contested marks in two games.
Fewest career games to record two games with 5+ contested marks— Swamp (@sirswampthing) June 20, 2021
4 - James Podsiadly
13 - HARRISON JONES
14 - Jeremy McGovern
16 - Luke McPharlin, Joe Daniher
18 - Harry McKay
19 - Liam Jones
@essendonfc #AFLHawksDons @AFL https://t.co/HXfIf1wGFk
Essendon’s first pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft (No.30 overall), the childhood Bombers supporter spent the majority of the 2020 season recovering from a foot stress fracture suffered during the shutdown period.
He bounced back with a strong pre-season, however, earning an AFL debut in round one and playing every game since, ranking first among eligible Rising Star players for contested marks (13) and third for goals (16) after round 14.
General manager of football Josh Mahoney said Jones’ Rising Star nomination was a testament to his hard work.
“We’ve been really pleased with Harry’s progression and development, particularly this season,” Mahoney said.
“As we know, he was sidelined in his first season with a foot injury but Harry really applied himself and put together a strong pre-season campaign which has been reflected in his performances to date this season.
“He is developing good chemistry with the other forwards and continually looking to add things to his game.”
Jones’ Rising Star nomination follows teammate Nik Cox’s round 12 nod.
The pair will be among 23 nominated players vying to become the overall 2021 NAB AFL Rising Star winner, with the winner to be awarded the Ron Evans Medal, along with $20,000 from NAB and a dedicated private banker.
Dyson Heppell (2011) and Andrew McGrath (2017) are the Bombers’ only Rising Star winners since the award’s inception in 1993.