Jobe Watson
Jobe Watson

Brownlow Medallist Jobe Watson says an honest and candid conversation with his legendary father Tim gave him the necessary motivation to continue playing football after a torrid 2005 season.

Watson was crowned the AFL's best player in 2012 with 30 votes, four ahead of Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell and Richmond's Trent Cotchin who tied for second.

It capped a spectacular transformation for the 27-year-old after he appeared to be on his last legs at Essendon seven years ago.

Watson played several games in his second year of footy but could only manage five a year later under Kevin Sheedy.

The midfielder began to grow disillusioned with his life at Windy Hill but a chat with father Tim, who won three premierships and four best-and-fairest awards at the club, inspired him to step up and improve both technically and physically.

"Within the 2005 season I was getting frustrated at not getting played and it was probably frustration at myself and my inability to be fit enough to play," Watson said after his win on Monday night.

"And it was having a conversation with dad at the end of the season.

"I suppose in his own kind of way, he knows which buttons to push and how to push them and he said sort of said you don't have to play if you don't want to.

"We don't mind if you don't play, it has nothing to do with the family, it's all about you.

"But if you do want to play and give it a crack, you have one season left on your contract and if you keep going down the same path that you are then your career will be over."

Watson's triumph saw him become the first Bomber since current coach James Hird, who shared the medal alongside Brisbane's Michael Voss in 1997, to take home the award.

And afterwards, Hird said Monday's achievement would hopefully dispel any doubts surrounding the quality of his club captain.

"Jobe sets a tone for our football club and has done for a long time, two or three years before I got there," Hird said.

"I think it's a justification of what he's done and the way he prepares himself to be a great footballer.

"And he can now be called a great footballer whether a Brownlow Medal defines greatness or not.

"The players at Essendon have followed him for a long time and I think if they needed any more justification, it came tonight.

"And I just said, the Essendon Football Club and supporters are so proud of what Jobe Watson is for this club and what he has done tonight."


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