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2012 Player Review - # 4 Jack Watts

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Jack was thrust into the backline in Round Eight against Sydney, and had an immediate impact. He was able to grasp the requirements and fundamentals of playing down back very quickly, and was No. 1 in the AFL between Round Eight and Round 15 for winning the ball back off the opposition. He suffered an ankle injury against Richmond in Round 15, from which he played the game out, but it cost him six weeks. Jack’s last three weeks were below the standard that he’d set earlier in the year, but we were very pleased with the mentality of his wanting to get back and play and not just write the season off. He has shown major gains in his approach to being an AFL player, and we have very high hopes of what he can achieve as an AFL player.  The pre-season is critical for Jack being able to command his spot in the team, being able to play 22 rounds plus finals, and playing long minutes. - Jade Rawlings (backline coach) melbourne.com.au

Games MFC 2012 15 MFC Total 55 Goals MFC 2012 5 MFC Total 38

Games CSFC 2012 3 Goals CSFC 2012 7

MFC 149 kicks 129 handballs 278 disposals 83 marks 20 contested marks (4th) 23 tackles

Keith "Bluey" Truscott Memorial Trophy 195 votes

 

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I quoted elsewhere on another thread about Jack Watts thread the words of an opposition supporter, Colin Wisbey from the Collingwood supporters Bulletin Board. This is what he said recently about Jack Watts:-

Watts is coming along OK ... [A]nd I'm someone who had NicNat as my clear top pick.

Melbourne (probably, with Port, the worst club at developing kids) have butchered Watts. For presumably PR reasons, they threw him to the wolves in his first season. A slim, recently turned just 18yo and still a full-time secondary student and they throw him in at CHF in a big-occasion game (Queen's Birthday) against what turned out to be a top 4 side that year.

Since then they've played him in almost every role on the ground. Makes it a bit hard to find form consistency. And he's still only 21yo (turns 22yp early next season) and still slimish.

IMHO he's still going to become a very good player, albeit that his development would be better at various other clubs.

Looking at Pies' young talls, Reid was 21yo in 2010 and Dawes in 2009. How established were they at that age, let alone Presti and Ant at same age?

I suspect we'll see closer to the real Watts as early as next season. Even this year he played a couple of terrific games (3 Brownlow votes in one against Essendon and 34d and 11 marks in another against Sydney) and another few pass-mark performances.

I have a lot of time for Wisbey's opinions and agree that the MFC's development of its young players in the past has been nothing short of appalling and that we need to give Watts more time because that is the way with KPPs.

The football department under Neeld/Craig/Misson has been together for less than twelve months and while they have been given the commodity of time to get the house in order, I think we need to see some results in 2013 both in respect to Jack Watts and most other aspects of the team's development.

I want to see how they get through the coming pre season which the FD promises to be the one that drills them up to close to the same levels that the leading clubs reach every pre season and not the far inferior levels comparatively of the fitness, conditioning and skills work we are told have applied for the past decade.

In any event, the challenge is definitely on for Jack and the many other young blokes at the club to demonstrate that they possess a lot more than just raw talent.

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I'd argue that Essendon are pretty awful at developing kids as well, as I follow them pretty closely due to EFC-family members. They have all the resources in the world, so it certainly throws an interesting twist to the rich vs poor debate. It's defintely a personnel issue imo, not just about how much money you can throw at the issue.

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Do key position players really take longer to develop, or is it just Jacks body type that takes longer to develop into a key position player. I would love to see Jack tackling more

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Guest José Mourinho

I'd argue that Essendon are pretty awful at developing kids as well, as I follow them pretty closely due to EFC-family members. They have all the resources in the world, so it certainly throws an interesting twist to the rich vs poor debate. It's defintely a personnel issue imo, not just about how much money you can throw at the issue.

But money is the key weapon in acquiring the personnel...

And Neil Craig would seem to agree, going by his MFC website article refuting Lloyd's claims that we don't have enough GPS units.

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'and was No. 1 in the AFL between Round Eight and Round 15 for winning the ball back off the opposition'.

Could someone clarify this? Does it refer to intercept marks?

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I'd argue that Essendon are pretty awful at developing kids as well, as I follow them pretty closely due to EFC-family members. They have all the resources in the world, so it certainly throws an interesting twist to the rich vs poor debate. It's defintely a personnel issue imo, not just about how much money you can throw at the issue.

Do they? I thought I read somewhere that Essendon now has the worst facilities of all Melbourne-based teams which is why they are proceeding with a new development in Tullamarine.

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Guest José Mourinho

'and was No. 1 in the AFL between Round Eight and Round 15 for winning the ball back off the opposition'.

Could someone clarify this? Does it refer to intercept marks?

I imagine it refers to Watts being the demons player who gets our first possession coming from any opposition turnover, whether that be an intercept mark, gather the ball after a fumble, beating his opponent to a contested ball directly after an opposition disposal, etc.

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I imagine it refers to Watts being the demons player who gets our first possession coming from any opposition turnover, whether that be an intercept mark, gather the ball after a fumble, beating his opponent to a contested ball directly after an opposition disposal, etc.

Matt Murnane wrote an interesting article about North's Scott Thompson, in which he stated that Thompson is no. 2 for intercept marks and no. 1 for intercept possessions at his club. We don't often see these stats but obviously they are compiled (I assume by Champion).

I read the 'intercept possessions' in the same way as Jose. It is impressive for JW to be number one in the league for a third of the season.

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I imagine it refers to Watts being the demons player who gets our first possession coming from any opposition turnover, whether that be an intercept mark, gather the ball after a fumble, beating his opponent to a contested ball directly after an opposition disposal, etc.

Oh yep that makes sense, thanks.

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Matt Murnane wrote an interesting article about North's Scott Thompson, in which he stated that Thompson is no. 2 for intercept marks and no. 1 for intercept possessions at his club. We don't often see these stats but obviously they are compiled (I assume by Champion).

I read the 'intercept possessions' in the same way as Jose. It is impressive for JW to be number one in the league for a third of the season.

Correction - I just looked up that article. Thompson was number one in the league at the time of the article (not just North). The stats are compiled by Champion.

It's an interesting indicator. And it rather undermines the criticism of JW as the collector of 'cheap' possessions across half back.

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When Watts gets bigger....he will be the next Adam Goodes!

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Correction - I just looked up that article. Thompson was number one in the league at the time of the article (not just North). The stats are compiled by Champion.

It's an interesting indicator. And it rather undermines the criticism of JW as the collector of 'cheap' possessions across half back.

gee does it...its easy to read that as saying that Jack is quick to take advantage of the heavy lifting done by his team mates.

However, if his contested ball and mark stats were good you wouldnt dream of saying such a thing....or his tackle count. But .....

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gee does it...its easy to read that as saying that Jack is quick to take advantage of the heavy lifting done by his team mates

.However if his contested ball and mark stats were good you wouldnt dream of saying such a thing....or his tackle count. But .....

How so when the stat says that he is the first to get the ball from the opposition?

Tackling needs a lot of work but he averaged 5.5 marks per game and about 40% of his possessions were contested this year - no where near as bad as some people make out.

There are enough Watts v Natanui threads so I thought I'd compare these stats with Hurley's year. Hurley averaged less tackles (.8 vs Watts' 1.5), less marks (5.2) and way less contested possession per game.

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gee does it...its easy to read that as saying that Jack is quick to take advantage of the heavy lifting done by his team mates.

However, if his contested ball and mark stats were good you wouldnt dream of saying such a thing....or his tackle count. But .....

Watts' MFC rankings (ave per game):

Interceptions: 1st

Contested marks: 4th

Contested possessions: 6th

1%: 7th

These stats don't read too badly to me. As The Passenger said, he needs to improve his tackling. That's a given. But he doesn't just get cheap possessions.

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'and was No. 1 in the AFL between Round Eight and Round 15 for winning the ball back off the opposition'.

Could someone clarify this? Does it refer to intercept marks?

heres a link to an article regarding watts during rnds 8-10. hope it helps :)

http://www.afl.com.a...x?newsid=137779

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Do key position players really take longer to develop, or is it just Jacks body type that takes longer to develop into a key position player. I would love to see Jack tackling more

Josh Fraser was an ordinary No 1 pick, Kruezer hasn't set the world on fire, Jonathon Patten doesn't get anywhere near the scrutiny of Watts yet Watts year was better than Pattens first year.

Watts looks lazy and I reckon that's what people see and comment on. What has Hurley really done?? Not much. Will probably be a good player but because he throws himself in to contests and shows genuine desire and hardness commentators go ape. BTW he is nearly a full year older than Watts.

Jack has skills, composure and a good footy brain. Will become a good player and could become a great player if he gets his head right.

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I'd love to see Watts at CHF along Clark at FF next year. He is an ideal loose defender, or 3rd man up as his disposal and composure stands out, but I don't think we should play him on key forwards. We have Frawley, Garland, McDonald and Rivers for that (Well maybe not Rivers now)

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It's easy to get first possessions from an opposition turnover when you're the loose man on the half back line.

If hodge, gibson, scarlett, or anyone else for that matter was playing without an opponent for 8 rounds - they'd be number 1 in that stat too.

Agreed Watts has improved this year. But until he expresses a genuine appetite for a contest and lays his body on the line, he won't be half the player anyone expects him to be.

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It's easy to get first possessions from an opposition turnover when you're the loose man on the half back line.

If hodge, gibson, scarlett, or anyone else for that matter was playing without an opponent for 8 rounds - they'd be number 1 in that stat too.

Agreed Watts has improved this year. But until he expresses a genuine appetite for a contest and lays his body on the line, he won't be half the player anyone expects him to be.

To repeat:

Watts' MFC rankings (ave per game):

Interceptions: 1st

Contested marks: 4th

Contested possessions: 6th

1%: 7th

You are extrapolating from body language to say that he doesn't do any hard work in matches. The one area that he is sorely lacking in is his tackle count. If he can improve in this area, while continuing in his development in other areas, then he will have a very successful 2013.

I don't care about Jack's body language; I care about his output.

And I'm not sure that intercept possessions are 'easy' to get (though I'm not sure that any possessions are easy to get in the AFL; I've never played at that level).

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It's easy to get first possessions from an opposition turnover when you're the loose man on the half back line.

If hodge, gibson, scarlett, or anyone else for that matter was playing without an opponent for 8 rounds - they'd be number 1 in that stat too.

Agreed Watts has improved this year. But until he expresses a genuine appetite for a contest and lays his body on the line, he won't be half the player anyone expects him to be.

While what you say may be true, I don't think Watts actually played the loose man role. In the Essendon game for example, he played on the small forwards such as Jetta, and ran off them to make a loose man when the opportunity arose. That is, he spread when necessary - something that was generally lacking from most players during the year. That was the game for which the umpires awarded him 3 votes. Many people have mistakenly assumed he was playing a loose man that evening.

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While what you say may be true, I don't think Watts actually played the loose man role. In the Essendon game for example, he played on the small forwards such as Jetta, and ran off them to make a loose man when the opportunity arose. That is, he spread when necessary - something that was generally lacking from most players during the year. That was the game for which the umpires awarded him 3 votes. Many people have mistakenly assumed he was playing a loose man that evening.

Don't forget he played on Watson when he went forward and physically beat him in two crucial one-on-ones. People who use the 'he plays without an opponent and all his possessions are soft' have no idea.

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Don't want to nitpick, but he's played 55 games, not 35

edit - usual typo

Edited by angrydee

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