Demons coach prepared to wait on Watts - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons coach prepared to wait on Watts

BY Adam Cooper 26/05/2009 04:09:19 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey insists form must determine when No.1 draft pick Jack Watts makes his AFL debut, as selecting him prematurely would set back his development.

The last-placed Demons could give their supporters a ray of hope in a season that has yielded one win if they pick Watts for the round 11 Queen's Birthday game against Collingwood, easily the club's biggest match of the season.

But Bailey gave the impression on Tuesday he would not bow to pressure from fans, as the young key forward had to produce a decent patch of good form in the VFL before he earned promotion.

"To pick a player who is completely out of form, who has had no impact at all at any level wouldn't be right for the player or the club," Bailey said.

"He was OK on the weekend and hopefully he'll build on that this weekend."

Watts, 18, has played the past three games for the Casey Scorpions seniors in the VFL, but has not been among the best for the past two games after his promising start in early May.

"The challenge for Jack is to just get some consistency and to manage his time, which he's doing really well," Bailey said.

"Hopefully he'll play well in the VFL this weekend so it puts some pressure on us not just for the following week but for the weeks after that.

"Our plan's always been to develop him and manage him and when he's ready we'll pick him. When that time comes we'll let you know."

If that's tough for Watts, spare a thought for the rest of the Demons, who on Saturday night play unbeaten St Kilda on the Gold Coast in their third straight clash against one of last year's preliminary finalists.

Bailey said the Demons had taken some confidence from gallant defeats to West Coast and the Western Bulldogs in rounds seven and eight, but could not take that encouragement into last Sunday's game against Hawthorn.

"You do get a bit of it, but from week to week confidence is something you've got to keep working at," he said.

"You just can't hope for it to be there with you, you've got to work to earn it."

Bailey said St Kilda's strengths lay in their quick ball movement, tight defence, aerial power in attack and the presence of Steven King and Michael Gardiner working in tandem in the ruck.

To combat the latter the Demons are set to recall Mark Jamar - one of the best for Casey on the weekend - to help out Paul Johnson at the stoppages.

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