Star Demon Jack Watts had his best season to date in 2016. After being the butt of everyone’s jokes for a long time, the former number 1 pick produced a season that went along way towards silencing his critics.
Jack Watts’ 2016
Jack finished fifth in the club’s Best and Fairest and booted 38 goals. He showed increased aggression and helped out big Max Gawn occasionally in the ruck.
Goodwin Not To Be Messed With
As we head towards the opening round of the 2017 season, things seem to have hit a roadblock for Jack Watts.
Watts was not selected for Melbourne’s practice match against the Bulldogs over the weekend, despite the fact he was fit to play.
While a lot of the finer details of this story seems to be up in the air, one thing is crystal clear. New coach Simon Goodwin is taking no prisoners. He is not going to tolerate anything but 100% commitment on and off the field. By putting a big name like Jack Watts on notice, he is sending a message to the whole Melbourne list. Nobody’s spot in the team is safe.
Star Demons ruckman Max Gawn didn’t totally play down the Jack Watts talk on SEN this morning. Gawn said that Jack Watts was an “option” for round one not a certainty.
“There’s been some guys who’ve had some good pre-seasons around him. Aaron Vandenberg, Sam Weideman, I think Goodie (coach Simon Goodwin) wanted to try out the two ruckmen this week. So just simply trying a few things around. Round one, he’ll still be a viable option for us.”
Jack Watts On Notice
When speaking on 3AW last night, former Essendon Coleman medalist Matthew Lloyd said the heat will be on Watts in 2017.
“He’s a must watch to see how he goes this season and it will track back to a poor pre-season if he doesn’t perform.” said Lloyd.
Former Demons captain Garry Lyon also stuck the boot into Jack Watts on SEN this morning.
“What does that say about his professionalism? He hasn’t worked hard? If he hasn’t made a squad of 29 for the first game, what’s he been doing all summer?”
Exciting Times Ahead For Demons Fans
From an outsider’s perspective this is exciting news for Demons fans. Simon Goodwin was such a hard and uncompromising player with the Crows. He seems to be bringing the same attitude to Melbourne. Seeing him crack the whip isn’t a bad thing at all.
With the ultra competitive Jack Viney now co-captain and Goodwin certainly not messing around as coach, the Demons look like they will be a team to be taken seriously in 2017.
by Michael T. Lynch – contributor