MELBOURNE forward Jack Watts will be under heavy consideration for the Demons' final pre-season hit-out in two weeks, but coach Simon Goodwin has delivered a pointed reminder about his requirements for selection.
Watts has been overlooked for Melbourne's first two JLT Community Series matches, and is running out of time ahead of round one as the Demons' slash their way impressively through the pre-season.
Goodwin said the club needed players who could train and perform at the right intensity "all of the time", and that was an issue he was working on with Watts.
"I think we know that Jack's got a lot of quality and he can play the game, there's no doubt about that," Goodwin said after the Demons' 54-point win over Carlton on Saturday.
"But what we are trying to create is we want people who can do it all the time and play with that intensity all the time.
"We're still working through that, and when Jack comes back in the team we're going to have a really good player on our hands."
Watts was put through his paces on Saturday with a group of Demons who weren't selected to face the Blues, and Goodwin said the 25-year-old "trained really strongly".
The Demons have a week off before their final pre-season game against West Coast on March 9, and the coach said his much-scrutinised forward would be given every chance to earn selection.
"It'll be discussed heavily at match committee and we'll decide that … we've got a few big training sessions coming ahead," Goodwin said.
"He's certainly trained to a higher level over the last two to three weeks and he'll just have to be ready when that opportunity arises.
"He's no different to any other player on our list."
Exciting forward Christian Petracca was the star in Saturday's big win against Carlton, booting four goals and building anticipation for what shapes as a breakout season for the No.2 pick in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft.
Goodwin said the 21-year-old, who also had 19 possessions and six marks, would be a "big asset" in attack this year.
"We know he can play in the midfield at times, but he's certainly a very dangerous forward and he's trained all summer to play in that area of the ground," the coach said.
Petracca was well-supported by key forward Jesse Hogan (three goals), with Goodwin pleased with a versatile forward line that included recently re-signed youngster Sam Weiderman as the second tall target.
The coach was also impressed with former Essendon defender Michael Hibberd, who made a successful return to senior football after serving a season-long ban.
"He was nervous going in," Goodwin said of the half-back, who finished with 13 mostly clean possessions.
"He was excited to play, and it was just great to have Michael back out there playing.
"We know he's a quality player and he certainly brings our defence something. I thought he used the ball well today, and he's just going to get better and better."
Goodwin said the Demons would select close to their best side against the Eagles in two weeks' time, with defender Neville Jetta, midfielder Dom Tyson (knee) and Dean Kent (back) all expected to be available.