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Watts waits for call on new coach

Jack Watts leaves the field after another Melbourne defeat.

Jack Watts leaves the field after another Melbourne defeat. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Jack Watts will not decide whether to re-sign with Melbourne until the coaching position is settled.

Watts is out of contract at the end of the season and his management has told the club he will hold off discussions until the Demons have finalised the appointment of the senior coach, which chief executive Peter Jackson has indicated is likely to be an experienced coach.

Watts' manager, Paul Connors, confirmed Watts, the No.1 draft pick in 2008, would not make a decision until the Demons had installed a new coach.

''We're going to wait until there's a coach in place and let Jack concentrate on his football for the rest of the season until then,'' Connors said when asked about Watts' intentions for 2014 and beyond.

Watts, who has been happy under caretaker coach Neil Craig, has attracted interest from a number of clubs, including Carlton.

Blues coach Mick Malthouse acted as a mentor for Watts last year when Mark Neeld was senior coach and Malthouse was working in the media.

Melbourne's football operations manager, Josh Mahoney, said the club had been ''in ongoing discussions with Jack and his management'' and said he was a required player.

''Jack's form over the last 6-8 weeks has been very good,'' he said on Tuesday.

''He's improved his flexibility playing through the midfield and we see him as a key player for us going forward.''

Watts has struggled to establish himself in the AFL, having joined the club carrying the huge expectations of a No.1 pick.

In June, Watts said he wanted to stay with the Demons. He is the most prominent - and discussed - out-of-contract Melbourne player, given that most of the better known players are contracted for 2014. Colin Sylvia, a free agent, is also coming out of contract.

The Demons have still not completely given up on the notion of Paul Roos as senior coach, as Jackson indicated on Fox Footy's On the Couch on Monday night. The club has been open that ex-Swans and Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade - acting football manager at Collingwood - and ex-Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams, an assistant at Richmond, are among the candidates. Roos has said he has little interest in coaching at the moment.

The Demons also have been in contact with Geoff Walsh, who quit his position as Collingwood's head of football last week and would be a leading candidate to fill the role at Melbourne if he was interested, as the Demons seek to remodel their football department with the financial assistance of the AFL.

North Melbourne and Hawthorn also have vacancies for the same head of football operations role, which clubs increasingly view as critical.

9 comments so far

  • Honestly Jack your having yourself on if you think your that valuable that eveyone else will be lining up to sign you!!!

    I'd be signing up yesterday if I was you.. Your not even close to 10% of the hype and expectation around your name.

    Date and time
    July 31, 2013, 1:50PM
    • Agreed Davo. Unfortunately for Jack..his peers from Brighton Grammar days are still ringing in his ears.
      Plenty of silky skills....where are they ?....Smart footy brain ........where is it ?.....
      Needs to look no further than Nathan Jones for multiple efforts on the ground. Unless toughness
      comes into his game the other skills will not happen.
      Calling the shots for a re-sign is NOT a good look.

      Date and time
      July 31, 2013, 8:54PM
  • Couldn't agree more with Davo.
    He's kidding himself if he thinks other clubs will want him !

    Date and time
    July 31, 2013, 2:45PM
    • Jack, go back to basketball, its much more your style of physical contest.

      Captain Grumpy
      Date and time
      July 31, 2013, 3:37PM
      • I actually think it's a smart move. Why sign on with Melb and then find out that the coach that they put into place stuffs it up even more than Neeld did or you can't work with him? Until everything is put into place at the Dees, why risk it?

        Date and time
        July 31, 2013, 3:39PM
        • Jack who?

          mal duxworthy
          Date and time
          July 31, 2013, 6:10PM
          • `I think you are all a little harsh on Jack its hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by Turkeys in the right environment Jack would develop into a key position player I think Freo under Lyon and Carlton would be two good options even North Melbourne under Scott would be a good option .everyone expected Jack to single handed Lift the Demons was never going to happen so why all the focus on one player

            Date and time
            July 31, 2013, 6:28PM
            • I have been wishing your game to become more physical for a long time Jack.Maybe its Brighton Grammar and the "pavlova" set that holds you back. Maybe not! Regardless , if you ever want to show pride in your jumper (red and blue) you need look no further than Nathan Jones for second and third efforts . Your skills will remain behind the stage curtain until you wake up and play for your life. Calling the shots to re-sign is not a good look.
              After six years , the jury is still out as I'll cut you a little more slack more year mate!!!
              Prove me wrong and eat my words.!!!!

              Date and time
              July 31, 2013, 8:48PM
              • Most people start their jobs or renew their contracts when they know who they are going to report to... How is this any different?

                With the AFL putting good $$$ into the dees you would think a good choice of coach is around the corner, then the likes of Watts and Silvia will sign up.

                It can't get any worse for the MFC than the 2013 season?

                Date and time
                July 31, 2013, 11:00PM

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