JACK Watts has given himself "every chance" to be picked in Melbourne's round one side after lifting his intensity in the Demons' 25-point loss to West Coast on Thursday night, coach Simon Goodwin says.
Watts was overlooked for the Dees' opening two JLT Community Series matches, but took his chance to impress in the club's final hit-out before a season-opening clash with bogey side St Kilda.
The 26-year-old former No.1 draft pick, who was forced to earn his spot following a sub-par pre-season on the training track, had 15 touches – nine by half-time - and a hand in several of Melbourne's goals.
"I liked Jack's first half, especially. I thought he was terrific, and his intensity and what we've been working on with Jack was very good," Goodwin said.
"He's certainly had a big four weeks; he worked really hard to get back into the team.
"He's given himself every chance (for round one). (VFL affiliate) Casey have got a game next week and we'll discuss whether he plays.
"But he certainly gives himself a really good opportunity (for round one) based on how he played tonight."
Goodwin's outfit tuned-up for the Saints against a near full-strength Eagles side, and the first-year Dees coach couldn't fault his side's attack on the contest but lamented their skill level.
Young gun Clayton Oliver (31 touches) and dashing half-back Jayden Hunt (27) were outstanding in the west, while fringe ruckman Jake Spencer gave the coaches something to think about in tandem with All Australian Max Gawn.
Spencer didn’t play at senior level last year due to a foot issue and Gawn's emergence, but is in the mix to take on the Saints.
"He's been pretty impressive Jake in the three games he's played (over pre-season)," Goodwin said.
"To kick three goals tonight … that's a dynamic we've got to keep looking at with our forward 50 pressure and our ability to mark the ball inside 50."
Former co-captain Jack Trengove travelled to Perth but sat on the bench for the entire match – after twice being an emergency this pre-season - and will fly back to Melbourne for a VFL trial game on Friday.
"Jack's really close to being in the team. We really only wanted to play 23 and be as close to a normal match as possible," Goodwin said.