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Watts ready to return for Demons

Sportal August 15, 2012, 3:00 pm
Jack Watts

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Melbourne coach Mark Neeld is hopeful that Jack Watts will return for the Demons' clash against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, while Mark Jamar could play in the VFL this week.

Watts, who has been out with an ankle injury, impressed his coach at Wednesday's training session and Neeld has revealed he is ready to take the defender to Canberra to play the Giants.

Melbourne's doctors are the only people standing in the way of Neeld picking Watts for the first time since Round 15.

"We haven't got the final approval but he trained fully and hopefully (he'll play). It's five games he's missed so hopefully the medicos will say when he cools down that he's good to go," he said.

But Neeld revealed Jamar will not play for the senior side this week, although the ruckman could be given a run with Casey Scorpions in the VFL.

Jamar has missed six of the past seven games with a calf problem and Neeld reckons the 29-year-old does not have the fitness required to play at the top level yet.

"Not this week," Neeld said.

"Not a chance for the AFL."

Melbourne have won just two of their past seven games outside of Victoria and Neeld said a recent visit by former Australian cycling coach Charlie Walsh has given his players some perspective on maintaining their focus when playing away from home.

Neeld believes the Olympics pointed out to his players that youth is not an excuse in elite sport.

"It is interesting that you get 18-year-olds that travel around the world and can break world records," Neeld said.

"Obviously they've got a lot of mental strength."

Neeld added he was interested by how some of his players had reacted to Walsh's stories about competing at a top level in competitions abroad.

"It's funny when a couple of players ask the question about people performing overseas and it was very hard for those guys to reconcile that we think it's difficult getting on a plane travelling for an hour," Neeld said.

Meanwhile, Neeld has made it clear that Liam Jurrah, who has played only one game this season, remains unlikely to get picked in the Demons' last three games of 2012.

Jurrah played for Casey last week and while Neeld conceded the forward had shown some moments of brilliance, he is unwilling to play the 23-year-old if he is not ready physically.

"I got really excited early," Neeld said.

"Liam was on the ground for about ten seconds, picked up the ball, went left and went right and slotted one through ... but he didn't finish the last quarter running on the top of the ground."

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