Jack Watts to make AFL debut for Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jack Watts to make AFL debut for Demons

03/06/2009 06:17:55 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's Jack Watts regards himself as a big game player, but the AFL's top draft pick is about to have his idea of a big game super-sized.

Until now, the 18-year-old estimates the biggest crowd he has played in front of is 2,000 and the most pressure he has faced is in the final of last year's under 18s national carnival.

On Monday, the schoolboy will make his AFL debut in the Demons' biggest drawing fixture - the annual Queen's Birthday clash against Collingwood at the MCG.

Not only will the crowd for a match that regularly draws 60-70,000 dwarf anything he has experienced, but he will also be carrying a large part of the Demons' hopes for the future on his shoulders.

As coach Dean Bailey put it: "It's an important event in not only Jack's life but the future of Melbourne footy club."

Bailey expected Watts, a 196cm big-marking key forward, to revel in the occasion and the youngster also backed himself to make an immediate impact.

"I hope so, I've been playing sport for a pretty long time and I guess I get up for the big games," Watts said.

"Hopefully this can keep that trend going."

But he admitted the scale of Monday's match had created some nerves.

"Jumping into bed last night I just ran through what could happen, just the events of the day and got a bit jittery but I'll be alright come game day," he said.

The No.1 draft picks of recent years have made their debuts much earlier in their opening season than Watts, most of them in the first round.

But Bailey said Watts' need to fit his training with the Demons around his final year of schooling - he has an accounting exam on the day after his debut match - had made that more difficult.

"He's a very busy boy, when you're as busy as he is you've got to be patient," Bailey said.

"We think what he's shown in the last couple of weeks he deserves a chance to play this weekend.

"It happens to be Queen's Birthday, which is great, if you're a marketing person you think that's brilliant.

"But I can tell you it had more to do with his form and more to do with when he was ready to play and he needed to put a couple of good games together, which he's done."

Meanwhile, Bailey said veteran star forward Russell Robertson could return after being dropped to the VFL last weekend.

"Robbo played well on the weekend, kicked 3.6, so he'll certainly be considered, he went back with the right attitude and did all the right things," he said.

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