|Full name||Jobe Watson|
|Date of birth||8 February 1985|
|Place of birth||Melbourne, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 40 (F/S), 2002 National Draft|
|Height/Weight||190 cm / 94 kg|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
Jobe Watson (born 8 February 1985) is a professional Australian rules footballer, and the current captain of the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Watson won the game's highest individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, in 2012, and is a dual All-Australian, three-time W. S. Crichton Medallist, and a representative of Australia in the 2014 international rules test.
Watson was educated at Kostka Hall preparatory school before studying at Xavier College in Melbourne, and played for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup. He is the son of Seven Network commentator and former Essendon player Tim Watson.
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Watson was selected at pick 40 under the father–son rule in the 2002 national draft. He was initially coached as a key forward by Kevin Sheedy, who also coached his father, Tim Watson. His poor kicking by AFL standards drew criticism, and it was determined that he would be more suited to the midfield at Essendon. At the time, his weight was criticised by the media, as he was overweight for an AFL player. Over the next two seasons, he began to develop his craft in the Essendon midfield and became one of the competition's elite midfielders.
Watson had a consistent season in 2009, polling ten Brownlow Medal votes and winning the Essendon best-and-fairest award, the W. S. Crichton Medal. Watson polled 335 votes in 15 of the 21 games he played in the 2009 season, with only one game missed due to an ankle injury. Watson was 46 votes ahead of runner-up Dustin Fletcher, who polled 289 votes. By the end of the 2009 season, Watson had gathered a reputation as Essendon's most important midfielder (coming first in the club's overall clearances) and improved his once-criticised kicking ability to above the standard of an AFL player. Watson was announced as the captain of the Essendon Football Club on 21 December 2009, taking over from retired champion goalkicker Matthew Lloyd.
Despite Essendon suffering a disappointing 2010 season, winning only seven games and finishing 14th on the AFL ladder, Watson enjoyed a successful first year as captain. He was a consistent performer in an inconsistent season for the Bombers, polling 16 Brownlow votes from a total of only 43 received by Essendon players, finishing equal-seventh in the 2010 Brownlow Medal count, and having the highest number of votes for a player from a team finishing outside the final eight. Watson was once again awarded the Crichton Medal, earning 291 points, which was 50 points clear of runner-up Heath Hocking.
Watson had a relatively good season in 2011 despite missing six weeks with a hamstring injury, earning 15 Brownlow votes and finishing runner-up in the Crichton Medal, losing out to up-and-coming third-year midfielder David Zaharakis. Watson completed an outstanding 2012 season by winning his first Brownlow Medal with 30 votes. Along with his third Crichton Medal, he also won a handful of other accolades, including the AFLPA Best Captain Award, the Lou Richards Medal and a place in the All-Australian team for the first time. Watson missed three weeks with a broken collarbone in 2013, but had another consistent season, earning 17 Brownlow votes, finishing runner-up in the Crichton Medal to former St Kilda utility Brendon Goddard, and making the All-Australian team for the second time. Between 2006–2013, Watson finished all but one season in the top two for votes for the Crichton Medal.
Watson had a good start to the 2014 season, but injured his hip flexor in round 12 and consequently missed ten weeks. Watson later returned to play in the final three games of the home-and-away season and Essendon's elimination final loss to North Melbourne. Watson then went on to poll eight Brownlow votes, behind up-and-coming midfielder Dyson Heppell. Watson was also selected in the Australian team for the first time in his career to play in the 2014 international rules test. Watson was among the best players in the one-test series, which Australia won by ten points.
In 2015, despite controversy surrounding the team's lack of fitness (following a compromised pre-season) and a tough first half of the season for Essendon, Watson continued to lead his team well early in the season despite his own injury clouds, further enhancing his status as one of the game's best captains late in his career. In Round 14, Watson played his 200th AFL match in what proved to be a torrid day for the Bombers, as they lost to St Kilda by 110 points. Following that match, Watson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, having injured it the previous week. Watson polled seven Brownlow votes in the first five rounds prior to the injury.
On 24 June 2013, whilst the Essendon Football Club was being investigated by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) over the legality of its supplements program during the 2012 season, Watson admitted on the Fox Footy program On The Couch that he believed he was given the substance AOD-9604 during the 2012 season with the assistance of the club. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a statement clarifying that AOD-9604 fell into the "S0. Non-Approved Substances" category in their List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. ASADA also stated that the use of AOD-9604 is prohibited for use by athletes in any circumstances. During the second phase of the investigation, Watson was among the thirty-four present and former Essendon players issued show cause notices by ASADA and infraction notices by the AFL, alleging the use of the banned peptide Thymosin beta-4 during the 2012 season.
On 31 March 2015 the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal found all thirty-four players not guilty of all charges. In January 2016 following an appeal by WADA against the AFL Tribunal's not guilty finding, Watson, along with the other 33 players, had their not-guilty verdict overturned. All 34 players were suspended for two years, backdated to March 2015, ending in November 2016, meaning that he will miss the entire 2016 AFL season. Watson's 2012 Brownlow Medal was won for the season during which the supplements program took place, and the AFL Commission has announced that after all avenues for appeal are closed, it will review whether or not Watson will be allowed to keep the medal.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievements
|Brownlow Medal votes|
|Green / Bold = Won|
- The Age Watsons show it's still a family game By Caroline Wilson. 29 June 2003
- Michael Gleeson, 12 July 2008. "Jobe's jolt". The Age, Retrieved 4 August 2009
- Watson wins 2009 Crichton Medal 30 Sept 2009
- Herald Sun  21 September
- Watson finishes equal seventh in Brownlow stakes 21 September 2010
- Jobe takes out Charlie 24 September 2012
- I took banned drug: Watson
- WADA statement on substance AOD-9604
- Robinson, Mark; Warner, Michael (1 July 2013). "ASADA has confirmed that banned drug AOD-9604 is prohibited under any circumstances". Herald Sun.
- Twomey, Callum (March 31, 2015). "Thirty-four present and former Bombers cleared of all drug charges". AFL.com.au. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- King, Travis (12 January 2016). "Guilty: court bans the Essendon 34 for 2016". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- Pierik, Jon (12 January 2016). "Essendon CAS verdict: Jobe Watson could be stripped of Brownlow Medal, review in February". The Age. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- Matt Thompson (11 February 2016). "The Essendon 34 appeal: Frequently asked questions". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
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