CLAREMONT'S Chad Jones has proven himself one of the best spearheads in the WAFL competition over his 99-game career with the Tigers and now he's gearing up to bring up the century in a top-of-the-table clash with Swan Districts this Saturday at Claremont Oval.
Jones has now kicked 345 goals over his 99-game career with Claremont that began way back in 2003 and has included the 2011 premiership, two games for Western Australia, two Bernie Naylor Medals and also 13 AFL matches between North Melbourne and the West Coast Eagles.
Despite some outstanding seasons including kicking 63 goals in 2007, 77 in 2009 and 85 in 2010, it hasn’t always been an easy ride for Jones either thanks to injury making the fact that he could get back for last year's premiership, and now reach 100 games mean all the more to the 28-year-old.
"It's just a big honour to go up there with the other guys who have played 100 games. We've got a great honour board at the club here and some of the names who have played a big part in the club's history," Jones said.
"It's more important for us to hopefully be building towards something special this year and hopefully I can play my part in that, but the 100 games is something that's a big honour.
"It will be something to look back on the end of my career, but right now it really is just another game because you are focused on doing what you need to do to help the team. It's probably something that 20, 30 or 40 years down the track that will be good when we come back for premiership reunions, and hopefully we will have more than one of those to come."
Jones now will celebrate his 100th game in the top-of-the-table clash with Swan Districts at Claremont Oval.
The two teams have had a host of incredible battles over the years and Jones has had plenty of duels with Tallan Ames as well, so he's looking forward to renewing all that on Saturday.
"We've had interesting battles with them so it will be interesting to see how we go and it will be a good measuring stick going into the latter part of the year. We'll have a good week on the track and hopefully go out and take some positives out of this game into taking them on," he said.
"I'm sure they will be fired up. They wouldn’t have liked their loss to West Perth so I'm sure they will be looking to rectify that. We will have to come out from the start and play four quarters of good footy.
"You do tend to go through playing on a lot of the same guys a few times each year and you have your regular battles. It's always good to renew those battles and you do end up facing them a few times over the years, and Tallan's certainly one of those so it will be a good battle again I'm sure."
Before last week's comfortable 55-point win over South Fremantle, Claremont had an intriguing month that included losses to Peel and East Perth, a big Foxtel Cup win over Mt Gravatt and then a come from behind victory over Subiaco leading into the game against the Bulldogs.
While the Tigers probably still haven’t played their best football yet in 2012, they could be on top of the ladder on Saturday night with a win over Swan Districts.
"It's hard to be up all year especially with the calibre of teams in the competition. We did have a couple of disappointing losses, but we've bounced back well and hopefully can take that into the rest of the year now," he said.
"Losses like that can be good to a degree because it gives you a bit of a reality check and things to work on. Obviously it's always good to win, but I suppose if you are winning by 10 goals each week and running on top of the ground you can get a bit complacent so it can be good to get some reality checks and go away to work hard on the track. Hopefully we have come out and rectify those losses."
Prior to last year's premiership triumph, Claremont had lost four grand finals over the previous seven years with Jones playing in the loss in 2007 against Subiaco and then missing the one-point loss to Swan Districts with a hamstring injury in 2010.
To then be able to play in the win last year over Subiaco meant the world to Jones especially to share it with his older brother Brett, but that's only just one thing that sticks out to him when he reflects on his career.
"It's no secret that we struggled over quite a few grand finals so it was obviously good to finally win one last year just to be able to tick that box. It's something that will be even better in the future when we catch up for premiership reunions and be able to share those memories over a few beers. I hope there's more to come," he said.
"I suppose the best thing is just to play at such a great club and the people you meet. I've been lucky to start my career here and then go away to Melbourne, and then come back and be so warmly received back.
"The amount of champions that I've been able to play with over 10 years of Claremont senior footy is amazing, and the teammates and friends you make is something to treasure for a long time."
Injuries have made the last couple of years tough for Jones, but he hopes now that the worst is behind him and he can get a good run at it for as long as he wants to keep on playing.
"It's been frustrating the last couple of years with it being so up and down with the body and stuff like that, so to get out there and be part of the premiership was just amazing and it's something I will treasure forever," Jones said.
"It has been a bit of a struggle, but it seems to be being nice to me at the moment so I'll keep trying to ride my luck for as long as I can."