WELL we know one thing for sure, “retirement” hasn’t mellowed Mick Malthouse.
Late yesterday afternoon the former Collingwood coach was on radio station FiveAA (Adelaide) for a regular segment and he discussed a range of topics, from Nic Natanui’s slam dunk, to the disastrous Essendon Football Club’s flight to Wangaratta and, inevitably, to Melbourne’s much-maligned Jack Watts.
When asked if he was too harsh on Watts, Malthouse responded: “No, I’m not harsh…I don’t know about you but I detest above all things talent without effort because my thing to those blokes is go home, kiss your mum and shake hands with your dad and say thank you for the genes I’ve got from you guys because you’ve actually given me the opportunity to have this talent and the next phase is that I’ve got to have a bit of grunt with this talent.”
“Now I’ve been on Jack Watts’ case because I’ve seen him play as a 16, 17 year old through the junior ranks, and I’ve been told by the recruiter who is very close to that particular team, they’ve said “This kid is very, very good but everyone knows about him”. And by everyone knowing about it, he thinks his ability alone is going to get him over the line…..You and I know that ability alone will not get you to the next level. It will take you to a certain level but it doesn’t take you to the NEXT level.”
In Malthouse’s defense there was no malice in his comments, just tough love as he suggests that it doesn’t help Watt’s at all to deny the shortcomings in his maturity level.
Malthouse also rejected the defense that is commonly give for Watts (“he’s only played 40 games”) arguing that there are indeed many players in the AFL that are younger and with less than half that experience that have demonstrated more desire on the field.
“I’ve seen too many players,” said Malthouse “that have loads of ability and never make it or loads of ability and can’t make it to the finals because the club go (sic) we can’t trust this bloke in finals footy.”
Regardless of how you feel about Malthouse or Watts, it’s an interesting interview and worth the listen. When Malthouse says “ambition is the greatest thing of all time – if you lack ambition, you take shortcuts” you get a sense of what is the essence of the questions that hang over Watts.
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