Career over for Watts
MALIGNED No.1 draft pick Jack Watts has announced his retirement with one year remaining on his contract with Port Adelaide.
Watts, who has been sidelined since suffering a severe leg injury early in the 2019 season, said the physical and mental toll had played a role in his decision.
“I have been thinking long and hard about my future for a while and contemplating retirement,” Watts said.
“Since my injury, I feel my body has let me down, and I have been struggling with the physical and mental requirements of getting back to the level of fitness that’s required at AFL level.
“Speaking with Ken (Hinkley) and Chris (Davies) and my manager in the last few weeks, it feels like the right decision for me to step away and look for new challenges in the next phase of my life.
“I feel lucky to have had 12 years in the game, and while there have been some challenges, there have also been some amazing memories both at Melbourne and Port Adelaide.”
Drafted by the Demons with the first selection in the 2008 National Draft, Watts played 152 games and kicked 143 goals in the navy blue and red before being traded at the end of 2017.
At the Power, he managed 21 games and kicked 18 goals, with his last match coming against Carlton in Round 2 last year.
“We all know Jack’s football ability, and we would have liked to have seen him on the field a lot more for our club,” coach Ken Hinkley said.
“People might not realise just how important and loved he is around our playing group because of his character.
“Jack always has a way of lifting everyone’s spirits, even when things weren’t going so well for him in the last couple of years. He’ll be missed around the group.”
Meanwhile, Gold Coast duo George Horlin-Smith and Anthony Miles have also called time on their careers.
Horlin-Smith managed seven matches in two seasons for the Suns following 51 in seven years at Geelong after he was drafted in 2011.
After playing 17 games in 2019 for Gold Coast, Miles wasn’t seen at AFL level this year.
His career, which started with ten games at the GWS Giants, hit its high-point at Richmond, where he made 61 appearances, including two finals.