Having played in every section of the ground in recent years, 24-year-old Demon Jack Watts will look to make the ‘third tall’ position in Melbourne’s forward line his own in 2016.
“My whole pre-season’s been up forward, so that’ll be the aim – trying to kick some goals,” Watts told aflplayers.com.au.
The 196cm utility has spent the off-season working on his approach to contests – both in the air and on the ground – admitting it “was a focus at the end of last year”.
“Simon Goodwin is starting to really take control of our offensive movement and we’ve had the same messaging for a couple of years now” – Jack Watts
“It wasn’t quite up to scratch. That’s pretty much what the whole team is getting drilled on.”
With second-year Demon Angus Brayshaw telling aflplayers.com.au last month that “the club wants guys who have a crack and compete for 100 percent of the game,” it’s clear the Melbourne players know where they stand and what’s expected of them.
“I think we’ve probably had a couple of years now to really build and it just feels like it’s heading in the right direction,” Watts said.
“Everything’s going really smoothly. We’ve had Roosy at the top for a while, Goody (Simon Goodwin) is starting to really take control of our offensive movement and we’ve had the same messaging for a couple of years now.”
Before Roos was appointed senior coach for the 2014 season, Watts had played under four coaches – Dean Bailey, Todd Viney, Mark Neeld and Neil Craig – in his five seasons at Melbourne.
While the 115-gamer is enjoying working with a settled coaching group and looking forward to the challenge of cementing a permanent spot in Melbourne’s forward line, he’s not at all bothered by the possibility of being moved to the midfield or the backline.
“When Round 1 comes around it can all change pretty quickly. I’m more than happy to play anywhere and contribute.
“It’s a really positive feeling at the club and that improvement is what sort of drives us to start really enjoying footy and winning games, and becoming respected in the competition.”