Little flashes of Cyril in Dees' Pickett

·2-min read

Simon Goodwin isn't the only parent who used to take his kids to AFL matches simply to witness former Hawthorn champion Cyril Rioli weave his magic.

Now as Melbourne coach Goodwin is hopeful the red-and-blue faithful will follow a similar path to see emerging talent Kysaiah Pickett in action.

There's every chance they will after Pickett provided the brightest sparks for the Demons in an 18-point win over St Kilda on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old small forward was dangerous around stoppages and his flashes of brilliance in the forward half stood out in a largely scrappy encounter at Marvel Stadium.

The highlight was a stunning goal during the second quarter, when Pickett roved a pack and evaded two tackles before snapping truly around his body in traffic.

"I took my young lad to the footy a lot and used to watch Cyril Rioli - and I'm not making comparisons to Cyril - but I used to take him to watch," Goodwin recalled post-match.

"I think that's what the Melbourne supporters would love about Kozzy too.

"You sit there on the sidelines as coach and you love watching him play.

"He's still got a lot to learn and get better at, but gee he's a good player."

Pickett's natural talent is clearly evident after 16 AFL games, but the 2019 first-round draft pick has also worked hard to continue his development as a second-year player.

He spent three weeks interstate after his mother's death in February and diligently followed a program laid out by Demons high performance boss Darren Burgess during his time away from the club.

Pickett did F45 fitness classes every morning for three weeks in Adelaide and trained three times a week with SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens.

On return to Melbourne, he fought his way back into the senior side through VFL practice matches.

"He worked incredibly hard ... it's full credit to Kozzy," Goodwin said.

"He's done an extraordinary job to deal with what he went through, but also to come out and perform the way he has."

Goodwin will encourage Pickett to continue working on the basics in order to give himself a chance of fulfilling his potential.

"He's still got enormous growth in him," Goodwin said.

"He's by no means the finished product yet."