Rising star for former Rookies champ

Harrison Jones (left) with his cousin Riley Vernon. (Pic Amanda Jones).

By Oliver Lees

Former Gisborne Rookies club champion Harrison Jones has made an early mark with the Essendon Bombers, as the forward received a round 14 nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star.

Bulldogs president Jodie Bannan said she was proud to see Jones recognised for his hard work.

“Harry is one who always took it in his stride, he never thought he was better than anyone else and got along with everyone,” Jones said.

“He was always a leader right through.

“He’s been given a great opportunity this year with Essendon the way they’ve supported the youngsters, and he’s taken it.”

Playing in his thirteenth match for the Bombers against the Hawks last weekend, Jones finished with 14 disposals, two goals and eight marks in the 13 point win in Launceston.

As a result of his rising star nomination, the Bulldogs will receive a NAB club recognition award valued at $2500 as part of the AFL’s rising stars program.

Bannan said the funding help the club after the financial difficulties of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’ll put it [the funding] toward player development and hopefully the funding can help support the next generation of players,” she said.

“Having more equipment around will take some pressure off the club.”

Jones played all of his junior football with the Bulldogs and was awarded club champion honours in 2017 while playing under-16’s.

After representing the Calder Cannons in the NAB League, he was taken by Essendon with the 30th pick in the 2019 national draft.

The Bulldogs have seen a handful of their players go on to play in the AFL, including Pat McKenna (GWS Giants), Brent Reilly (Adelaide Crows) and Matthew Goodyear (Collingwood Magpies).