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The coach who unlocked Jobe's future

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Brownlow still sinking in for Watson

Essendon captain Jobe Watson reflects on winning the Brownlow Medal but says it's all still feels a little surreal.

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RAY Giles can remember Jobe Watson walking into his St Kilda gym at the end of 2005.

He was young, fresh-faced and had no idea what he was about to find out about himself.

He was a 20-year-old, 13-game player with one year left on his contract. But he was one other thing, too: committed.

Medal magic: Jobe Watson displays his Brownlow yesterday.

Medal magic: Jobe Watson displays his Brownlow yesterday. Photo: Penny Stephens

''He had that look of wonderment in his eyes, that sense of the unknown,'' the boxing trainer told The Age. ''He had a look that told me, I'm here and I'm prepared to take whatever's put in front of me.''

Watson wasn't always sure that he wanted to be an AFL footballer, to play the game his father Tim had played so well for so long. A private room set aside for the brand new Brownlow medallist straight after Monday night's count was filled with a wide cross-section of people: some teammates, some ex-teammates, a few coaches, his parents, his three sisters, and a bunch of old school friends. It was them a young Jobe had relied on, confided his mother Suzie, before he had realised it was possible to not simply be the son of Tim.

''He had times during his teenage years where he almost didn't want to be good, to be good at footy, because it would just bring more attention to him,'' she said. ''He wanted to float through, for a while, and not really be noticed by anyone. He felt much safer in the school environment than he did in the under-age footy environment. He felt very secure with his schoolmates, he liked being one of them.''

Of course, things have changed since then. Jobe is more extroverted than her husband, said Suzie, but the two share plenty of personality traits. Sometimes, she watches Jobe loping across the ground, shoulders heaving, and is reminded of her husband. Often she isn't sure which of them is speaking to her on the phone, so similar are their voices. Over time, she witnessed her son's growing sense of comfort, and confidence.

''I suppose it's just developed over the years, as a gradual thing,'' she said. ''I think Tim's always been very aware of that and he's never wanted to overshadow Jobe, he's wanted him to blossom and the footy club has been marvellous at allowing Jobe to be who he was without referring back to Tim all the time. But for Jobe, he was always the eldest at home so he was never intimidated around home, but he just needed to find his feet at the club. And he's never been one to push himself forward, so I think it just happened slowly.''

The time he spent with Giles helped, not only because it stripped him of several kilograms and sent him into his fourth preseason fitter than he had ever been. Before Jobe, the veteran trainer - ''you can say I'm somewhere between 50 and death'' - had worked with plenty of footballers and since then he has trained a lot more. Two years ago he helped Tom Rockliff become the midfielder few thought he could be; after his first session the Brisbane youngster needed to throw up before getting into his car, and could barely lift his hands to the steering wheel.

Training Jobe wasn't about destroying him physically or running him into the ground, said Giles. Instead it was about taking him to a place where he felt uncomfortable and exposed, mentally. Getting him to that edge meant that when he made it to similar points of exhaustion in games the feeling would not be foreign and he would know he had the strength to keep going longer than the player beside him.

''If you want to be different, you have to change. You have to commit, and change, and I need to sing the boy's praises because all I did was put a key in the door.

''All I did was open a door to a room he'd never been in, and he had to be prepared to go into the dark room and get out of his comfort zone,'' Giles said.

''When you do that, that's when you start training. That's the place you start to call home. Most men don't want to go in there but Jobe did, and this will follow him through life now. He'll be successful in whatever he does, because he has strength of mind and character.''

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
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MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
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NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
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CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
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Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
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ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
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RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
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ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
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HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
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BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
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CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
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COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
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Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
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RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
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CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
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GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
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Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
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SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
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HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
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CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
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COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
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RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
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FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
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Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
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RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
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ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
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GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
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GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
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PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE ($2.15)vs RIC ($1.70) 19:50Adelaide Oval
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COL ($1.22)vs CAR ($4.35) 13:45MCG
WBU ($1.73)vs PTA ($2.10) 14:10ES
BRI ($2.45)vs GCF ($1.55) 16:35G
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GWS ($1.33)vs ESS ($3.35) 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK ($3.70)vs FRE ($1.28) 16:40ES
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Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
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Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS ($2.50)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:45ES
NTH ($1.28)vs STK ($3.50) 14:10BA
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GEE ($4.30)vs HAW ($1.20) 19:20MCG
BRI ($1.70)vs CAR ($2.10) 19:20G
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WBU ($1.33)vs MEL ($3.15) 15:20ES
FRE ($1.87)vs WCE ($1.87) 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW ($1.18)vs PTA ($4.60) 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL ($2.35)vs RIC ($1.55) 13:45MCG
GWS ($3.50)vs SYD ($1.28) 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF ($1.40)vs ESS ($2.95) 16:35MS
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ADE ($1.08)vs BRI ($6.75) 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
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CAR ($2.25)vs MEL ($1.60) 15:20MCG
WCE ($1.18)vs WBU ($4.60) 16:40Domain Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE ($1.50)vs COL ($2.50) 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($3.70) 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($13.00) 14:10AS
NTH ($1.70)vs WBU ($2.10) 16:35ES
ESS ($5.00)vs RIC ($1.15) 19:20MCG
GCF ($2.50)vs PTA ($1.50) 19:20MS
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STK ($3.80)vs SYD ($1.25) 15:20ES
FRE ($1.07)vs MEL ($7.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
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PTA ($2.15)vs FRE ($1.65) 00:30Adelaide Oval
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AFL 2015
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Hawthorn 17 12 5 0 164.23 48
Sydney Swans 17 12 5 0 115.86 48
Western Bulldogs 17 11 6 0 113.12 44
Richmond 17 11 6 0 112.43 44
North Melbourne 17 10 7 0 107.19 40
Geelong Cats 16 9 7 0 102.42 38
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