We're looking after Watts: Demons coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We're looking after Watts: Demons coach

By Robert Grant 25/06/2009 03:11:54 PM Comments (0)

Every armchair critic has an opinion on whether Melbourne should have played No.1 draft pick Jack Watts this season. Demon coach Dean Bailey has made it clear his is the only one that counts.

Bailey has shrugged off speculation that the Demons, languishing at the bottom of the ladder, blooded the young raw-boned forward too soon.

Watts has looked a little harried pitted against the bigger bodies in his two games to date but Bailey has no doubts the club is managing his development correctly.

"It just comes with the territory," Bailey said ahead of Saturday night's clash with Brisbane at the Gabba.

"Jack's a high-profile player now he's played two games so he's obviously going to be scrutinised.

"That's what comes with playing AFL footy now and future draft picks and past draft picks, particularly the number ones, are always going to be assessed and evaluated early in their careers.

"He gets the focus because he's the No.1 draft pick.

"Management of him over the next couple of weeks and the rest of the year is going to be important.

"We understand the player, we understand the pressure on him, we understand his schooling commitments.

"None of that's changed how we're going to manage him. We'll do the best for Jack and the club."

Liam Jurrah also made his debut alongside Watts and, while his feedback to the coach has been limited, he is set to line up again this weekend.

"He doesn't give away much, Liam, but when he smiles you know he's pretty happy and he's been smiling most of the week," Bailey said.

"I take that as he's ready to go again Saturday night."

Meanwhile Bailey continues to be upbeat about the Demons, despite their favouritism for a second straight wooden spoon.

"There are periods in games, more this year than last year where I think our ball movement's been of a better quality.

"I think last year our ball movement was really haphazard at times but this year we've moved the ball quicker and when we have we've been able to score.

"You get caught up with the things that you're not doing well and then you dwell on them, then it becomes frustrating.

"We're coming off a real low base though - at the end of the day we're still trying to get out of where we are so we've got a long way to go.

"But the players' work rate's been very good. We're still trying to improve their decision-making under pressure, making hard and tough decisions at training so there's some transfer in the game."

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