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Watts vaults to Power as Cameron stays grounded - for now


UPDATED | Jack Watts says he has no hard feelings toward Melbourne after he was traded to Port Adelaide today.

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Watts joined high-profile free agents Tom Rockliff and Steve Motlop at the Power, who only had to part with pick 31 to satisfy the Demons.

The former No.1 draft pick still had two years to run on his current deal with Melbourne, but found himself on the outer with coach Simon Goodwin, who dropped him late in the season.

The 26-year-old also attracted interest from Geelong and Sydney after he was encouraged to explore his options by the Demons.

“I have no hard feelings towards the club,” Watts said after the trade went through.

“I know it’s difficult to leave as I have always enjoyed playing for Melbourne but I think a clean break is the best thing for me and I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career.”

Watts played 153 games for the Demons after being the No.1 pick at the 2008 draft.

“But the list management group felt that Jack’s consistency of performance while at Melbourne hasn’t been at the level expected of a player with his experience,” Melbourne football chief Josh Mahoney said.

“This may be attributed to the fact that Jack has attracted immense public interest from day one.

“This has no doubt placed an unfair amount of pressure and expectation on Jack throughout his career at Melbourne and both parties feel like a change of environment and a fresh start will be the best thing for Jack’s career.”

The move – capping off a stellar trade period for the Power – came after disgruntled Port midfielder Brendon Ah Chee got his wish to be traded to West Coast.

The Eagles will reportedly hand over their 2018 third round selection in exchange for Ah Chee and the Power’s fourth-round pick in next year’s draft.

Ah Chee, who has previously been linked to a trade to the GoldCoast, wanted more senior opportunities after managing just five games at Port this year.

Meanwhile, the Brisbane Lions plan to unleash contracted Crow Charlie Cameron into the midfield to add pace to their side, as the wooden spooners remain upbeat about their prospects of prising the speedster out of Adelaide.

Lions general manager of football David Noble – who himself crossed from the Crows last year – told the AFL’s Trade Radio today Brisbane had had “some really amicable dialogue with Adelaide” over Cameron, who has indicated he will not re-sign with his current club next year if he is forced to play out his contract.

“We’ve had some conversations over the weekend, and we’ll pick that up today and tomorrow,” Noble said.

“We’re hopeful to land Charlie… we’d like to think by the time we get to the end of trade period something can be done.”

Noble said the small forward – who was best afield with five goals in Adelaide’s preliminary final win over Geelong – “fits that profile for us in the grouping of the 20 to 25 year old banding” and will add vital speed in the midfield.

“The Gabba plays really quick, so we’d like to get some speed into the side,” he said, suggesting he saw Cameron’s role on the wing and through the midfield as well as his traditional half forward role.

“We know he can play that half forward role [but] the ground’s a bit wider up there, so we think that run, that speed through the midfield, is something that really helps us.

“From my time when I was at Adelaide, that was the plan [for Cameron] – to start to build and grow his game into the midfield.”

The Lions hold picks 1, 12, 18 and 20 in the early stages of the draft, but Noble says discussions “haven’t got to the nitty gritty” about what is on the table.

Ah Chee. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

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