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Returning Ruckman Sparks RoyalsThursday, June 13, 2024 - 8:56 AM

The broad shoulders of ruckman Scott Jones are looming as critical to East Perth’s chances of challenging for this year’s WAFL premiership.

The Royals sit on top of the WAFL table and Jones is part of the “Fab Four” which makes up the midfield group at the club.

Joining the likes of Hamish Brayshaw, Angus Schumacher and Mitch Crowden inside the centre square, Jones believes the chemistry within the group is special.

“There is a decent amount of planning, but I think it is mainly playing on instinct,” Jones said.

“I have played with each of these guys for a number of years now and we all know how each other operates.

“Getting the pieces to work together can be difficult at times, so training nights often feature a lot of talking tactics and discussing opportunities within our midfield group.

“Each of us brings a unique set of skills and experience and everyone is more than willing to work together to get the job done.”

The 29-year-old is loving life at East Perth after a serious leg injury curtailed his 2023 campaign.

“It has honestly been fantastic to be back,” he said.

“I went down last year right as I was in probably the most enjoyable and satisfying period of my whole football career.

“Coming back this really feels like I picked up where I left off.”

Jones has revealed the emotional turmoil he endured at the back end of last year.

“I ended up with a broken fibula and torn syndesmosis ligament in my right ankle,” Jones said.

“This required surgery to set the bone and to repair the damage.

“I was able to get back moving fairly quickly but not quite in time for that finals push.

“It was painful to sit by and watch the last few games of the season slip away, especially that elimination final.

“It was the most helpless I had felt in a team in a long time.”

The former Fremantle Docker has bought into the team ethos under Ross McQueen.

“Our group is really close, and we take pride in the culture we have built over the last few years,” he said.

“I think the main drive for us now is the enjoyment in our team success.

“We thrive off each other and all genuinely get excited seeing a teammate kick a goal, lay a big tackle, or hit a great kick.

“We all want each other to play well and winning is a bonus of that.”

Jones again played his part with 40 hit-outs and a goal in the Royals nine-point loss to Claremont last weekend.

“We have been building as a club in the last couple years, but it has been a long time since East Perth was really feared as one of the top teams," Jones said.

“This year, I think we have started to earn that tittle back and I know the team still has a lot more to give.

“I do believe we have what it takes to be a top contender in 2024.”