Former Carlton defender Liam Jones wants to join the Western Bulldogs, reports SEN’s Sam Edmund.
Edmund understands that a three-year deal is in the works for Jones to return to the Bulldogs for 2023, the club where he began his AFL career.
Jones retired from AFL football last November after choosing not to follow the AFL’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
The 31-year-old played in the QAFL for Palm Beach Currumbin in 2022.
“Liam Jones has made his decision,” Edmund told SEN Mornings.
“The 31-year-old defender, who stepped away from Carlton after refusing to adhere to the AFL’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, has decided where he wants to play next year.
“Liam Jones wants to go back to where it all began at the Western Bulldogs.
“Rival clubs have been informed by the Jones camp – thanks, but no thanks. The rebounding backman wants to head back to the Whitten Oval.
“This hasn’t been confirmed by the Dogs I need to stress, but I’m told this is a three-year deal for Jones that he will accept in his return to the top level.
“He’s 32 come February, Liam Jones, so it’s a pretty big show of faith from the Bulldogs.
“How Liam Jones gets back to the Dogs, who knows. I’m not even sure the Dogs even know at this stage how this would come to pass because it is a test case.
“Jones, we know, retired in November last year in the face of the no jab, no play mandates. Under existing rules, players who retire can’t re-join the competition for 18 months.
“The Dogs and Jones’ management, they’re seeking an exemption here.”
The Blues are pursuing compensation for losing Jones at the end of last season.
Jones has played 161 AFL games – 66 with the Dogs and 95 with Carlton.