COULD a sixteenth AFL season be on the cards for Nathan Jones?
The Melbourne veteran signed a one-year deal for this season, but the shortened 2020 campaign as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may have opened the door for Jones to go around again.
Asked if the smaller 2020 season has made the 32-year-old keener to play on, Jones was effusive in his answer.
"Oh absolutely. This has only given me a hint – particularly at this point of my career – of what it would be like if footy wasn't there anymore," Jones said.
"I'm already missing the routine and the chance to interact with the boys and that connection you get day-to-day, it's something you absolutely miss.
"I think for a lot of guys and particularly me, it's probably going to be a blessing in disguise to really appreciate what you've got and be really grateful for the opportunity we have; to not take it for granted when we get back and really invest in one, your career, and two, giving back as much as you can."
The Demons have been training in pairs amid social isolation rules, with Jones working alongside Jake Melksham. A few duos who live close by have gone down to Sandringham Oval to train at the same time in separate areas of the ground.
The club was in the unfortunate position of playing its round one match against West Coast after the ruling to postpone the AFL season was announced, meaning players knew the eventual 27-point loss would be their last game for at least two months.
Players from all clubs were then sent home the following day, meaning normal routines have flown out the window.
"To be honest, we haven't even had a chance to review that game," Jones said.
"I wasn't playing (due to Achilles soreness), so I'm not even 100 per cent sure what 'Goody' (coach Simon Goodwin) said post-game, just due to the fact everything that went down just an hour or two prior to the game starting.
"Since then, we haven't actually got back together as a group, unfortunately, due to some of the issues that have transpired."