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Enjoyment ingredient to success: Watts

Georgina Lewis  November 17, 2016 3:42 PM

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Jack Watts of the Demons celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 20 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 06, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Jack Watts of the Demons celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 20 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 06, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)

I had fun playing footy this year which was the main thing for me; the ball was coming down pretty quickly into the forward line which makes it pretty easy for us up forward

FORWARD Jack Watts says Melbourne’s 2016 season was the most enjoyable of his career.

Watts produced a standout season in 2016, kicking a career-high 38 goals and finishing fifth in Melbourne’s Best and Fairest count – his first ever top five placing.

Speaking to Melbourne TV, the 25-year-old said overall team improvement had enabled him to have a greater impact during the season, particularly on the scoreboard.

“I started really well and had a good patch through the middle and then got a bit tired late in the season,” he said.

“I had fun playing footy this year which was the main thing for me; the ball was coming down pretty quickly into the forward line which makes it pretty easy for us up forward.

“To get on the end of a couple was nice and contributed to what was a good year.”

Watts said finding enjoyment in playing football was crucial to any team’s success.

“We’re probably encouraged to enjoy ourselves [when we play],” he said.

“That doesn’t take away from the amount of hard that we do or the discipline involved but at the same time, you’ve got to enjoy it.

“When you do enjoy it, you’ll probably get much better results which we’ve seen this year. Goody [Simon Goodwin] and Macca [Brendan McCartney] are really strong drivers of that and have been around footy long enough to know that it’s a pretty good ingredient for success.”

Watts, who spent part of his off-season break in the United States, said he was determined to maintain the momentum from 2016 and hit the ground running at pre-season training.

“I found I played my best footy this year when my body was feeling really good and I was able to cover the ground really well,” he said.

“That’s a big focus for me; getting my body in as good a shape as possible running wise, really trying to be able to cover the ground so I come back fit for pre-season ready to go and work really hard.

“It is a balance as well – you can’t do too much and then get really sore. I did that last year and missed half of the pre-season with a sore groin so you’ve got to be careful.”

Reflecting on the season as a whole, Watts said he was optimistic about what Melbourne’s future has in store.

“The last round [against Geelong] wasn’t how we wanted to finish the season but if you can put that aside and look at the year as a whole, I think it was a really successful year,” he said.

“We started to produce a brand of footy that everyone can relate to; the fans can see it and the players are really confident with it.

“2016 was a great year and the foundation for something special going forward.”