Jack Watts

AFL Trades, Delistings and Retirements
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ย by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago

On October 6, the two-week free agency/trade period began, as well as several clubs delisting players to make places available for newcomers. The biggest news ahead of this period was Gary Ablett requesting a trade back to Geelong despite a year left on his contract with the Suns. Others to request trades have been: Port's Jarman Impey designating Hawthorn his preferred choice, Giants Nathan Wilson and Devon Smith, Adelaide's Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron. The Bulldogs were also seeking to trade Jake Stringer, whose inconsistent form has seen fall out of favor. Melbourne was also seeking to trade Jack Watts, who was bitterly disappointed at not being able to remain with the club.

Dockers Exorcize Demons
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Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth

Fremantle secured the Minor Premiership (top position on the Ladder) for the first time in club history with a relatively easy win over the Melbourne Demons in the penultimate round of the home and away (regular) season. Matthew Pavlich reaches for the ball during the Fremantle vs Melbourne match. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.The Dockers' ride to the Finals looked decidedly wobbly after they dropped their last two games and they needed to stamp their authority on this outing to secure the top rung. They did that well and truly with five first quarter goals, followed by another six in the second quarter before Melbourne scored their first for the match.

Demons Exorcize Tigers
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Brook "Boris" Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

It was supposed to be a celebration of the life of Tommy Hafey, Richmondโ€™s iconic four time Premiership coach who sadly passed away during the week. Instead, for Richmond, it was a disaster of far-reaching proportions. Coming into the contest with a precarious 2-5 record, the Tigers simply had to win. Not just to keep their Finals hopes alive, not just to honor the memory of Hafey, but to give their fans some hope that their 15 win season in 2013 wasnโ€™t a fluke. The answer to the latter is one that Tiger supporters will not want to accept and will certainly struggle to understand. Melbourne mounted a spirited effort to grind out a hard-fought win โ€“ the Demons' second in a row and third for the season. The Demon players were simply better when it counted, their masterful new coach Paul Roos earning every cent of his high-priced contract.

Where To Now For Blues
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

After the Round Three drubbing Carlton suffered against Essendon, Coach Mick Malthouse described the loss and the team performance as embarrassing. Captain Marc Murphy said the players discussed the loss as a group and faced some home truths. He also believed the team could lift and redeem themselves against fellow struggler Melbourne. Andrew Carrazzo believed the team would learn and find a way to bring out a more ruthless streak against Melbourne. The lesson obviously failed to sink in and the Demons pounced. Trailing early in the first term, they kicked five unanswered goals either side of the first break and never looked back. They used the ball better than the Blues with midfielder Nathan Jones dominating Murphy and a more potent attack in Frawley, Watts and Dawes.

Round 13 Milestones
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Dean Cox (WCE) played his 239th game in Round 13. This puts him fourth on the list for most games by a player who was originally rookie-listed.

Tenacious Tigers Demoralize Demons
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Both teams came into Round 3 with a 0-2 record and were feeling the heat for different reasons. Demons' coach Mark Neeld had been under siege after a poor start to his AFL coaching career, taking over a team considered Finals contenders at the start of the previous season. The coaching change was supposed to inject new life into the Demon line-up but the results so far had been disappointing to say the least. On the other side of the coin, Richmond shared the dreaded 0-2 record. However both losses were to highly touted opponents in Carlton and Collingwood. There had been enough positive football played by the Tigers to suggest they could still improve on their 12th position finish from last season but a loss to the struggling Demons would no doubt have loyal supporters and the media lamenting yet another season of unfulfilled promise.

Resurgent Tigers Overcome Demons
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A Round 23 clash between two struggling clubs would normally not attract a lot of attention but this round had a high level of importance for both Richmond and Melbourne. The Tigers had seemingly lost their way after an exciting start to the season but, coming off a thumping 47 point win against perennial finalist Sydney, they appeared to have their mojo back. If they could pull off a win against Melbourne โ€“ a feat they had not managed since Round 18, 2009 โ€“ some momentum could be regained as the Tigers move into a very important off-season. Melbourne on the other hand, has had its season torn apart over the past month, going from a highly-touted dynasty built around Trengove, Scully and Watts to a team which sacked its coach after some abysmal late season performances. Amazingly, the Demons could still mathematically make the Finals with a win over Richmond and games against cellar-dwelling Gold Coast and Port Adelaide to follow.

Eagles Blitz Demons
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Much has been hoped for from West Coast and Melbourne this year after both teams had disappointing seasons in 2010. For their Round 6 encounter in the west, weather conditions were perfect for football and a close game was tipped.

Hawks Demolish Demons
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Hawthorn has had the edge on the Melbourne Demons over their last six matches and much was expected from them in this clash. Melbourne was coming off a draw against Sydney, while Hawthorn was winless after a discouraging finish against Adelaide in Round 1.

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