David Schwarz claims that Essendon midfielder Jobe Watson could easily win a Brownlow Medal as soon as this year after being highly impressed by his performance in Essendon’s opening JLT Community Series match.
The former Bombers skipper played his first game since the end of the 2015 season on Thursday night at Etihad Stadium, alongside five other players who were suspended for 12 months for their involvement in the club’s supplements saga.
Watson was a standout performer of the Dons’ returning group, picking up 19 disposals, four marks and six clearances despite being rested for the entirety of the final quarter, where the Bombers gave up a 23-point three-quarter time lead to lose to opponents Collingwood by 11 points.
Schwarz says that Watson’s performance captivated him enough to consider the 32-year-old a huge possibility of winning a Brownlow this year, a feat which he would enjoy should it eventuate.
Watson was stripped of his 2012 Brownlow Medal late last year due to his year-long suspension handed down by the World Anti-Doping Authority.
“He could (win a Brownlow),” said Schwarz on SEN’s The Run Home.
“He looks as determined and as sharp and as fit as I’ve ever seen him. There’s a real steel in his eye and I reckon he’d be happy to prove a lot of people wrong.”
Schwarz also says that despite the Magpies’ win, Essendon’s skill levels in the game looked at a higher level than the victors.
“I thought Essendon’s skill superior to Collingwood,” said Schwarz.
“(Collingwood) fumbled a lot.”
Essendon’s next pre-season fixture takes them to Queensland as they take on the Gold Coast Suns at Mackay’s Harrup Park on February 26, while Collingwood will travel to Mandurah in Western Australia to take on Fremantle on March 4.