HAWTHORN'S Jack Gunston is one of the AFL's most damaging forwards, and he can add Melbourne's Jack Watts to his long list of admirers.
Watts is happy to admit that he models his game on the Hawks' sharpshooter and watches plenty of vision of Gunston and Adelaide's Tom Lynch to help improve his forward craft.
"He's a terrific player. I played a lot of junior footy with 'Gunner', and his career has been a pretty successful one, hasn't it?" Watts said on Monday.
"I do watch a lot of vision of him and Tommy Lynch from Adelaide – those connecting forwards.
"I watch those guys a lot. You learn a lot from them and then you put your own little twist on things."
Watts was the matchwinner for Melbourne in its nail-biting two-point win over Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday.
The much-improved forward had 18 disposals, took 10 marks and kicked the critical goal to give the Demons the lead with two minutes left in the contest.
Watts' match-saving mark with just 40 seconds remaining – before Bernie Vince's monumental turnover gave Suns spearhead Tom Lynch a chance to win it – underlined his growing importance to Melbourne's side.
The former No.1 draft pick has kicked 34 goals for the season, eight fewer than Gunston and continues to improve every aspect of his game.
"This year has been a highlight for me as a whole," Watts said.
"The way that we're playing and progressing, that's what I really enjoy and look forward to over the next few years."
Next up is a battle with the Hawks, who appear certain to claim their third minor premiership since 2012 as they seek a fourth-straight flag.
Despite the Demons' battle to beat the lowly Suns, Watts believes they can end a 10-year losing streak to Hawthorn on Saturday.
"Hopefully we'll give them more than a nudge," he said.
"This whole year, when we come up against those top-four sides we've shown we're right there when we play our game style."