Beveridge doesn't bite on Jones AFL talk

·2-min read

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has refused to buy into speculation the AFL club is chasing anti-vaccination defender Liam Jones.

Bulldogs football manager Chris Grant reportedly met with Jones on Tuesday as the 31-year-old eyes a return to the AFL.

"You know Liam's manager lives a few doors up from Chris Grant so someone's obviously seen him walking into his manager's place and assumed it was Granty's place," Beveridge said.

"With any potential acquisition players, I'll always be silent during the year just out of respect for our own playing group.

"Anything that's in the pipeline from a list management perspective I'm always silent on so I won't give you any confirmation or otherwise on any players we might be thinking about."

But Beverdge did indicate the Bulldogs were likely to be in the hunt for a key defender ahead of next season.

"Like every club should be, you've got to do your own due diligence to make sure that you're doing the right thing by your members and the current playing group to ensure that you're well stocked and you're better each year," he said.

"We're quite vigilant behind the scenes in what we might be doing at the end of the year but I don't want to be specific around needs.

"There's a lot of commentary around where we might be able to improve our group and you'd imagine we might be thinking along similar lines."

Jones opted to retire rather than be on Carlton's inactive list after refusing to be following the AFL's decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccination last October.

But with the AFL last week ending its compulsory vaccine mandate, Jones is free to return to an elite club next year.

If Jones does return to the Whitten Oval, it would be an unlikely homecoming after he played 66 games for the Bulldogs between 2010 and 2014.

Jones reinvented himself as a strong marking defender at Carlton, playing 95 games for the Blues before his an unexpected retirement.

As well as reported interested from the Bulldogs, Essendon are also looking at recruiting Jones.

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