Power’s Tom Jonas hopes a tweaking of technique keeps off the AFL tribunal list this year.Tom Jonas hopes a summer spent honing his defensive craft will finally keep him out of the AFL suspension doghouse.
The Port Adelaide defender has worked with assistant coach Nathan Bassett through the pre-season on how to avoid making high contact.
Jonas had an outstanding season last year, but it was soured when he was suspended for rough conduct and had to sit out their heartbreaking extra-time elimination final loss to West Coast.
He also served a six-game striking suspension the season before. So no surprise one of his goals this season is to have a clean match review slate.
Bassett had an outstanding AFL career as a defender at Adelaide and has racked up plenty of coaching experience since.
“I’ve probably worked with ‘Bass’ a little bit around the technique side of defending,” Jonas said.
“Being able to stop my opponent without having the risk of slipping high, or anything like that.
“Internally, we felt it wasn’t so much an aggression thing, rather a technique thing.
“Hopefully I have no misdemeanours this year and get through unscathed – that would be very nice.”
Jonas is happy with his aggressive mindset, joking on Monday that he had not seen a psychologist in the wake of last year’s round-22 suspension.
But he and the club want a better technique to go with his physical intent.
“My value on the team is playing on the edge and bringing that aggression,” Jonas said.
“I’m probably not as talented as some and I need to do that to perform at a high level, so I’ve got to do that.”
Jonas finished third in the club best and fairest last season and also made the initial All-n squad.
He said Port plans to take as strong a team as possible into their opening pre-season match on Sunday against West Coast in Leederville.
The Power have made 11 changes to their list, bringing in experienced players such as Tom Rockliff, Jack Watts and Steven Motlop.
“That amount of turnover creates a different atmosphere and environment around the club.
“They’ve brought a lot of energy and a new personality – they’ve been great.”