High-profile Port Adelaide recruit Jack Watts will most likely miss out on a recall for the Friday night AFL blockbuster against his old club Melbourne.
Watts was dropped last weekend after an inconsistent start to his debut season with the Power.
Impressive youngster Todd Marshall took Watts’ place and coach Ken Hinkley has forecast minimal – if any – changes after their wins over Richmond and the Western Bulldogs.
This is the first opportunity for Watts to play against his old club, where he was the 2008 No.1 draft pick.
He played 153 games for Melbourne and another 11 so far this season for the Power.
“Todd will play. Jack, we haven’t had selection yet, but we played pretty well last week,” Hinkley told Fox Footy.
“I’d imagine we’d be pretty close to (the) same.
“We brought Jack to the club for finish and that’s what we’re still looking for.”
Watts impressed in Port Adelaide’s SANFL win over Sturt on Sunday, kicking three goals.
“We watched him play yesterday in the (Port) Magpies and he played really well, he had an outstanding game,” Hinkley said.
“His finishing in really tough conditions was on show yesterday.
“We think he still has a lot to learn about the way we play and that will only help him become a better player.”
Friday night at Adelaide Oval is significant game, with only percentage separating fourth-placed Melbourne from the Power, who are seventh.
While Port are building momentum with a couple of good home wins, Melbourne are coming off a disappointing Queen’s Birthday loss to Collingwood.
“We certainly want to win this game of football, to put ourselves up in front of Melbourne and other sides,” Hinkley said.
“Friday night, a big stage again for Port Adelaide, it’s really important we play well.”
Hinkley also had high praise for Port star Robbie Gray, who had another big game last Thursday night and is among the Brownlow Medal contenders.
“He’s right up the top,” said Hinkley, formerly an assistant coach at Geelong and Gold Coast.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be around Junior – Gary (Ablett).
“He’s an outstanding player. Stevie J (Geelong great Steve Johnson) … Robbie’s not far away.
“He’s probably at least equal, he’s a pretty good player.”