Vale Jack Watts, we hardly knew ye

DA McDonell Roar Rookie

By DA McDonell, DA McDonell is a Roar Rookie


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    I had assumed Josh Mahoney had been misquoted when he was reported to have said “we shouldn’t be having these conversations after nine years”.

    Had presumed what he really meant to say was ….. “we shouldn’t be having these conversations after 53 years”. That it was a heart felt apology on behalf of administrators and coaches to long-suffering Melbourne supporters.

    Apparently, am incorrect. It was in fact a reference to Jack Watts. The popular, former number one draft pick Jack Watts. The man Paul Roos described as one of the best people he had met in football.

    While it is clear Mahoney, Simon Goodwin, Nathan Jones and Garry Lyon will not mourn his loss, there are plenty of supporters who will. I count myself among them.

    Gary Lyon lectures me and others of the need to be cold hearted and dispassionate. Funny, had thought emotion, ownership and passion are hallmarks of supporting a team. Within reason it’s what makes being a member of a club special. Apparently am misguided.

    What disappoints me most, is that Jack Watts was hung out to dry. Public condemnation. Suspect it was the club sending a message. But suspect would not be the only one who felt uncomfortable about the comments which made Jack’s departure inevitable.

    So likewise I have a message. The Melbourne hierarchy had better be right. In trading Jack Watts we lose some heart and soul. It needs to be for a purpose.

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    The purpose and clear message is that for Melbourne, their time is now. Watts out for pick 31 and Jake Lever in for two first round draft picks suggests no more five-year plans. Footscray, Richmond, Melbourne. Well, finals at the very least. Just hope Hawthorn, Footscray, Collingwood and St Kilda aren’t reading this.

    One may wonder when a players fails to meet expectations whether it could ever be seen as a coaching issue. I was musing over that in Round 22 in a match that Melbourne had to win to make the finals. It was at the point when Melbourne found themselves 40 points down in the first quarter to Collingwood. It was a match they lost to an undermanned side which finished thirteenth. Sometimes I wonder about the accountability of coaching panels.

    But really the Jack Watts humiliation factor was being traded for pick number 31. Pick 31!

    No longer are names like Hodge, Kruezer, Goddard, Murphy, Gibbs and Scully counted among his peers.

    His classmates against which he will now be measured are Jason Tutt, Ariel Steinberg and Malcolm Karpany. To be fair it also includes Jordan Roughead, Kamdyn McIntosh, Jackson Merrett and Daniel Howe. And I believe firmly he can be better than Jason Tutt.

    But it is my intent to turn Jack’s departure into a positive. To look forward, not back.

    I need a new favourite player as you can’t have your pin up boy running around in another jumper. My new favourite player hasn’t been born yet. It will be pick 31.

    Like an expectant parent, don’t not know who it is, or what it looks like. Could be a “run with”, link man, midfielder, tall or small. In this day and age don’t even know it’s age or gender. And that’s a healthy thing.

    Can’t wait to set eyes on baby Jack, alternate Jack or substitute Jack. Just hope that my new favourite player is not an inferior Norwegian veal substitute.

    In the meantime, Vale Jack. Good luck at the Power.