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Byrne-Jones: Developing confidence in my ability

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Darcy Byrne-Jones of the Power in action during the 2019 AFL round 20 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

PORT ADELAIDE defender Darcy Byrne-Jones is developing into one of the Power’s most consistent players, as he continues his strong form in 2019.

Byrne-Jones was best on ground in Port’s 47-point victory over Sydney at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon, and the playmaker puts that down to an increased confidence in his own ability.

“That experience is important - it’s my fourth year playing in the AFL team,” Byrne-Jones told SEN SA’s Sportsday on Tuesday evening.

“I’ve developed over that time. Developed confidence in myself and in my ability, and that’s just starting to really show now.

“It’s really pleasing to be able to contribute, and hopefully in a finals campaign coming up.”

The Oakleigh Chargers product has become a reliable and resilient defender for the Power over the last couple of years, and he attributes that to the foundation his parents set for him as a kid.

“The way you’re brought up contributes to that a lot,” Byrne-Jones said.

“My parents have been really supportive of me and the move across from Melbourne. From a young age I always wanted to play AFL footy - it was a dream of mine.

“When I came to the club, I was really determined to achieve that goal, and then continue on to play some really strong AFL footy. And one day hopefully win a premiership.”

Byrne-Jones says the role co-captain Tom Jonas and key defender Tom Clurey play in the defensive group is integral not only to the backline, but how the Power set up all over the ground.

“Their role as the two bigger guys is to get the big forward beaten, but they are the guys that set us up,” he said.

“They are the eyes of the team. They can see everything unfolding in front of them, so we put a big onus on them to point and direct, and speak to the guys in front of them.

“They are really important to our team defence, as well as defending themselves.”

The half-back flanker - who is averaging five more disposals a game in 2019 than across his career - says he is happy in his current role, but won’t rule out a positional move in the future.

Byrne-Jones noted the success of Dan Houston’s move into the Power’s midfield this season, but says he is focussed on his continued development in the back half.

“I’m really comfortable playing in defence at the minute,” he said.

“I’m really enjoying the backline group that we’ve got down there, and our coach Brett Montgomery has been really good for us this year.

“Into the future you never know, I won’t rule anything out. Wait and see on that front.”

Port Adelaide will be looking to maintain its position in the top eight when it faces North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night. The important Round 22 clash commences at 7.25pm AEST.