Port Adelaide’s straight-sets exit from the AFL finals has marked a changing of the guard for the club, with Tom Jonas sent into retirement following Saturday night’s defeat to the GWS Giants.
The captain missed selection for the semi-final but, in a rare scene, still earned the honour of being chaired off with a guard of honour as the Power departed Adelaide Oval.
He was carried by Ollie Wines and beloved ex-skipper Travis Boak, who may have slipped quietly into retirement in the shadows of Jonas’s public farewell.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
Boak, 35, does not have a contract for 2024 and could yet decide to hang up the boots, but speculation has mounted that Port may choose to push him out regardless of his intentions.
With that debate yet to be settled the focus on Saturday night was squarely on Jonas.
“A wonderful servant of the Port Adelaide Football Club for a long time,” Hamish McLachlan said on Channel 7.
“His career, as so many do, doesn’t end as he would love it to end but he has been a warrior.”
Former Essendon skipper Jobe Watson said: “He doesn’t get to write the storybook ending he would have liked. That is the game.”
Jonas spent two months out of the side before moving in and out again late in the season.
“His leadership would have been tested probably most this year,” AFLW champion Daisy Pearce said.
“Things weren’t going right personally but you have to play a really selfless role.
“These last few weeks and months would have asked a lot of Tom Jonas, to be able to lead and get behind his team from a position he’d rather not be in.”
Jonas captained Port on 95 occasions, trailing only Warren Tredrea (96) and Boak (139).
Boak had 21 disposals against GWS and recorded four clearances, seven inside 50s, six score involvements, eight intercept possessions and four tackles.
Post-match footage from the rooms showed Boak smiling as he embraced family and friends.
“Not quite sure what happens next for Travis,” McLachlan said.
“He’s one of the nicest blokes you’d ever meet in football. Hopefully his body says we’ll go again and the club does too, but I guess when you get to this stage of the season there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
Port coach Ken Hinkley confirmed there were no snap retirement announcements in the rooms but said they would soon pick up the conversation with Boak.
“Now the season’s come to an end, we’ll go through our whole list and we’ll have all those discussions,” he said.
“Everyone wants you to do list management decisions before the season’s over. We were in the middle of finals.
“I get that there’s some great fascination around Travis, it’s been such a great career for such a long time. But every one of our players will get some more information and we’ll work towards making ourselves better.”
Hinkley refused to dive deep into his thinking around Boak but had a telling remark on Jonas.
“You always have to move with the times, football doesn’t sit still for anyone,” the coach said.
Saturday night’s semi-final was the 348th game of Boak’s stellar career.
He played in the 2007 grand final at the end of his debut season and took over the captaincy in 2013 before he had even turned 25.
Port ended a five-year finals drought that year and reached a preliminary final in 2014, when he finished five votes behind the Brownlow winner.
“He has been an enormous part of this club,” Jobe Watson said.
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .