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Melbourne Football Club

Jones named sole captain

Nathan Jones poses for a photograph during the Melbourne Demons portrait session at the MCG, Melbourne on January 29, 2015. (Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Nathan Jones poses for a photograph during the Melbourne Demons portrait session at the MCG, Melbourne on January 29, 2015. (Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

NATHAN Jones will be Melbourne’s sole captain in 2015 and he will be supported by three recycled players in the club’s leadership group.

Jones, 27, will handle the responsibility on his own after sharing the captaincy duties with Jack Grimes in 2014.

Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba is a surprise choice for the Demons’ leadership group, which also includes Grimes, Lynden Dunn, ex-Dog Daniel Cross and former Magpie Chris Dawes.

Melbourne coach Paul Roos said the group now consisted of players with finals experience and players who had endured tough times together at the Demons.

He said Lumumba had made every post a winner since being recruited during last year’s trade period and his introduction to the group showed the esteem in which he was held at the Demons.

"It just shows what high standards he does have," Roos said.

Grimes stood down as co-captain in the pre-season to concentrate on his football.

Jones' deputy will be experienced defender Dunn, who becomes vice-captain for the first time.

He was in the club's leadership group last season.

Roos paid tribute to Dunn, saying he was a player who was held in high regard internally. 

The coach said he had a different impression of Dunn now than he did when he was appointed coach last year.

Dunn said he was humbled by the honour.

"I've worked really hard on my leadership, especially the last two or three years, and I think now I’ve settled down back, that has really helped me focus on game day," Dunn said.

Jones has won three consecutive best and fairest awards with the Demons, but has played in just two finals in his 179 game-career.

He extended his contract in December for four more seasons, tying him to the Demons until the end of 2019.

Jones said he was confident the club was heading in the right direction and the he felt he had developed alongside Dunn and Grimes during the past three years. 

"The three of us are really close mates from that time," Jones said. "To be voted in by your peers and teammates is a real honour." 

Dunn, 27, was added to the club's leadership group early in the 2014 season after Mitch Clark retired and has been a solid performer in the past three seasons, finishing inside the top 10 in the club's best and fairest each year.

Missing from last season's leadership group are Colin Garland, Jack Trengove, Mitch Clark and James Frawley.