New top picks will adapt quickly: Stynes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New top picks will adapt quickly: Stynes

27/11/2009 06:33:23 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne president Jim Stynes believes the AFL club's latest top draftees are better equipped for a quick step into senior football than last year's No.1 pick Jack Watts.

The Demons copped some criticism after Watts made a much-hyped AFL debut this year in the club's biggest showcase match, the Queen's Birthday encounter with Collingwood.

The 18-year-old schoolboy ended up playing just three games for the season, making only a modest impact.

It prompted some fans to prematurely denounce the budding key forward as unworthy of top draft pick status, while others questioned whether the club should have played him so soon or on such a big occasion.

Stynes pointed to Watts' inauspicious start as a reminder that patience was needed in relation to the newest crop, including Thursday night's top two draftees - No.1 Tom Scully and No.2 Jack Trengove, both midfielders.

But he added those players should adapt to the elite level more quickly.

"I think it's a little bit different, because with Jack (Watts) he was still at school, so we had other things we needed to work towards, holidays from school and exams and that sort of stuff," Stynes said on Friday.

"Also he was a lot younger, he debuted at Queen's Birthday, which was round 11.

"These guys will be a little bit different ... they're a lot older than our first picks last year.

"There's no reason why they won't be playing early in the season if their bodies are right and the coach feels that they're able to."

Stynes compared the current crop of youngsters - the new draftees plus players such as Watts, Liam Jurrah, Jack Grimes and Sam Blease - to the group that took the Demons to the 1988 grand final, a year after he made his debut.

But he said the greater demands of the modern game meant it would take them longer to develop enough physically to contend for a flag.

Scully, who met his new teammates for the first time on Friday and then was shown around the MCG by Stynes, said it was inspiring spending time with the Irish-born Brownlow Medallist, who is currently battling cancer.

"You've just got to take a moment and listen to him speak, he speaks from the heart and this club means a lot to him and it's very inspiring to hear a man like him talk," Scully said.

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