Richmond’s selection of Jake Aarts in last Friday’s AFL rookie draft delighted former St Kilda star Aussie Jones, who coached the tenacious small forward at the now defunct VFL club Bendigo Gold.
Aarts played under Jones’ coaching guidance at Bendigo Gold in its final two years in the VFL competition (2013-14) before joining the Tigers’ VFL program, where he flourished.
“I’m over the moon for Jake . . . he’s a player I brought up (to Bendigo Gold) from my local club, having previously coached him as a kid,” Jones told the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’.
“He won our group over with his work-rate and courage, so it doesn’t surprise me that Richmond has taken him.
“In his second year with us, there was a bit of interest around him. But he was fantastic for Richmond in the VFL this year, playing in that defensive forward role, and they obviously liked what they saw in him.”