2014 is the year of the Watts

Francis Curro Roar Pro

By Francis Curro, Francis Curro is a Roar Pro

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    In the 2008 AFL Draft, Melbourne Selected Jack Watts to be the number one overall pick.

    After finishing 16th in 2008 and a new coach Dean Bailey ready to take on the world, Melbourne was ready to fight their way up.

    The talented teenager was then seen to be the next big thing for the Melbourne Football Club.

    He was supposed to be the answer to all their problems and be the next dominate forward in the AFL.

    Unfortunately for Melbourne and Jack, he is yet to live up the hype.

    He has been thrown forward and into the midflied, copped it from the crowds and is sitting at a club who has not played finals in seven years.

    But there is fresh hope for the young forward.

    Lets not forget, he is still 22 years old, and key position players take a little longer than midfielders to develop.

    In 2014, now with a real coach for the first time in over five years, he has a chance to show the AFL world that he can play once more.

    Watts is not the worst player on the Demons list. He is still very raw.

    His record is not that great yet.

    He has played 73 games and kicked 60 goals and 30 behinds.

    2013 was by far the best year of his career.

    He booted 22.12 in his 18 matches and even bagged four goal efforts against the Western Bulldogs twice.

    The move forward in the second half of the year, gave him 18 goals in just 11 matches.

    More importantly for Watts, is that Melbourne have added a bit more class to their midfield.

    Nathan Jones can now walk into the centre circle with Daniel Cross and Bernie Vince, two former best and fairest winners with successful clubs.

    They also have young Dom Tyson who can add some youth along with Trengove and Grimes.

    Its all set up.

    The next few seasons will be defining for Watts.

    He has shown signs but is yet to become an A-grade forward.

    The Demons midfield now has some experience and ability, so he should less hope of receiving the ball.

    Watts will also have some competiton up forward now.

    Chris Dawes and Mitch Clark look set for 2014 and Jesse Hogan impressed in the VFL.

    Hogan finished the 2013 season with 39 goals in 15 matches.

    Now that one of the best coaches in the game the Demons can start to rebuild.

    The next three years will be interesting for the Melbourne football Club and for Jack Watts.

    Now only time will tell, how good will be….

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • November 10th 2013 @ 10:15am
      abigail said | November 10th 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      If Watts has an outstanding season it will re-enforce Roos’ reputation as a genius coach. Or maybe it will just re-enforce the perception that Melbourne have wasted the last three years.

    • November 10th 2013 @ 10:42am
      Ian Whitchurch said | November 10th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

      Apparently Roos is going to putt Watts on a wing.

      • Roar Pro

        November 10th 2013 @ 7:53pm
        Francis Curro said | November 10th 2013 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

        Well they have a pretty packed forward line though, someone will have to move.

    • November 10th 2013 @ 11:49am
      Strummer Jones said | November 10th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

      Francis, I think your problem and the media’s problem is with that opening line “In the 2008 AFL Draft, Melbourne Selected Jack Watts to be the number one overall pick”.

      The fact is, they got it wrong. Watts can play at AFL level, no doubt about it. However, he should not have been the No.1 draft pick in 2008. If you and the media can let this go, we can all move on (and I’m sure Watts would appreciate it as well). If you keep hanging onto it, thinking that somehow him being #1 draft pick MUST mean there is brilliance hidden just under the surface waiting to emerge, Watts will continue to fall short of your hopes and expectations.

      All the above aside, this article could really be written about any young 20 year old ‘still raw’ that will hopefully be a gun player one day.

      • Roar Pro

        November 10th 2013 @ 7:53pm
        Francis Curro said | November 10th 2013 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

        I think Melbournes recruiting has been pretty bad over the past few years. He was the one everyone was talking about back in 08 however.

    • Roar Guru

      November 10th 2013 @ 1:26pm
      TomC said | November 10th 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

      This time for sure!

    • November 10th 2013 @ 7:55pm
      Ian Whitchurch said | November 10th 2013 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

      To give people perspective on the size of the problem, here is this years Jack Watts versus GWS’s Tomlinson – and remember, we’re spotting two years and fifty games to Jack Watts.

      Adam Tomlinson Name Jack Watts
      GWS Giants Team Melbourne Demons
      Forward Position Defender, Forward
      26 Career Games 73
      Oakleigh Chargers Origin Sandringham Dragons
      August 10, 1993 Date of Birth March 26, 1991
      20yr 3mth Age 22yr 7mth
      193cm Height 196cm
      89kg Weight 88kg
      2011 National Draft Last Drafted In 2008 National Draft
      Round 1, Pick #9 Last Draft Position Round 1, Pick #1
      GWS Giants Last Drafted By Melbourne Demons
      2013 Stats for Season 2013
      17 Games 18
      10.5 Kicks Per Game 8.7
      5.2 Handballs Per Game 6.1
      15.8 Disposals Per Game 14.8
      7.5 Marks Per Game 5.3
      0.3 Goals Per Game 1.2
      0.4 Behinds Per Game 0.7
      1.6 Tackles Per Game 1.6
      1.3 Hitouts Per Game 0.6
      2.1 Inside 50s Per Game 1.4
      0.2 Goal Assists Per Game 0.4
      0.6 Frees For Per Game 0.4
      0.4 Frees Against Per Game 0.8
      4.5 Contested Possessions Per Game 5.1
      11.4 Uncontested Possessions Per Game 9.6
      11.2 Effective Disposals Per Game 11.4
      70.9% Effective Disposals % Per Game 77%
      1.8 Clangers Per Game 1.7
      0.4 Contested Marks Per Game 0.6
      0.4 Marks Inside 50 Per Game 1.2
      0.4 Clearances Per Game 0.4
      1.5 Rebound 50s Per Game 1.8
      1.7 One Percenters Per Game 1.7
      0.4 Bounces Per Game 0.4
      89.0 Time On Ground % Per Game 91.5

      http://www.footywire.com/afl/footy/ft_player_compare?tid1=25&pid1=3647&tid2=12&pid2=3107&type=A&fid1=S&fid2=S

      • November 10th 2013 @ 8:22pm
        Strummer Jones said | November 10th 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

        Ian, this is disappointing from you unless I am reading your comments in the wrong context.

        What exactly is the problem?

        All I can see is that Watts isn’t living up to #1 draft pick. Did he ask to be #1 draft pick? No.

        A bunch of people and clubs figured he was at that time. Now that it is clear he should not have been chosen ahead of many other players, AFL supporters and the media label it a “problem”. Personally, I think it is their problem, not Watts’s.

      • November 11th 2013 @ 9:20am
        Are you there Harry said | November 11th 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        I assume this is a comment on the lack of robust coaching Melbourne have suffered? Their stats are pretty similar but one has benefitted from outstanding development coaches and the other from a tanking culture. I guess Jack Watt’s stats would be better if he had been placed at another club. The players are just the end result of what happens behind the scenes and I think that’s your point.

    • November 10th 2013 @ 9:59pm
      Bill Larkin said | November 10th 2013 @ 9:59pm | ! Report

      Melbourne recruited Watts to be a Nick Riewoldt type, and this didn’t eventuate. Next year, with Hogan, Clark and Dawes, he doesn’t need to be. Set free in the midfield, I think he will be a star.

      And Strummer, I know for a fact (I have family members in the middle of the 2008 draft) that Watts would have been the number one selection whichever club had the pick. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Unless, of course, you have compelling evidence that other teams wouldnt have picked him…..

      • November 15th 2013 @ 8:00am
        clayts said | November 15th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        Exactly. Watts was pretty much unanimously touted as the number 1 pick. I’d say all the eastern states club would have taken him if they had the chance. And i still think he has plenty of time to actually play like a number 1 draft pick anyway.

        Out of that draft, I would say only Stephen Hill and Sidebottom have done anything ‘better’ than Watts overall anyway. And that is probably more related to the environment they have been playing in, Hill more recently admittedly. You could mount an argument for Yarran and Hurley but really, what exactly have either of those players done that is significant? Also, all 4 of those players have been surrounded by way more talent than Watts has. Put him in the Pies/Freo/Blues/Bombers sides and he’d be a gun straight away. Same goes for quite a few of the dees players, which is why now that they have strengthened their midfield, I expect them to improve markedly.

        • November 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm
          biggie said | November 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

          All this this arguing about how Melbourne stuffed up the selection of Watts and I feel like I never see anyone make the one salient point that Jack Watts was the CONSENSUS number one pick. Almost everybody in the know considered him the best prospect in the draft. People talk about how the Demons should have taken Naitanui, but I distinctly remember most saying he was a 50-50 prospect, someone who could be anything but was raw as they come. Remember his first season? It was as comical as it was exciting! very few people truly believed he would be this good because he lacked fundamentals and awareness. And @clayts might want to pay attention to more than just his team. Naitanui was All-Australian just recently remember? saying only only Hill and Sidebottom have done better than Watts is ludicrously ill-informed. Naitanui is the clear standout from that class, a talent and marketing dream who is only surpassed by Buddy Franklin.

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