during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session on February 21, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne forward Jack Watts has been left out of club’s squad for their JLT Series encounter with Carlton this weekend.

Watt’s also missed the club’s first JLT Series match against the Bulldogs last week, despite not carrying an injury.

Yesterday Dees’ defender Tom McDonald highlighted Watts’ need to maintain “consistent training standards” to win his place in the side.

GM of Football Operations Josh Mahoney reiterated McDonald’s stance, but said Watts is a key player for the Dee’s this season.

“We think there has been some predictable, but unfair media speculation about Jack Watts’ non-selection. To clarify, the team is being selected on some key criteria, during the pre-season,” he said.

“Jack knows exactly what needs to be worked on and his past two or three weeks, he’s been working hard on what he needs to improve on in certain areas.

“He still remains a key player for us this season.”

Jeff Garlett will miss the match this weekend and is expected to be out for 3-4 weeks with a hamstring injury.

Key recruit Michael Hibberd will play his first match for the club, as will draftee Dion Johnstone.

Related: Full JLT Series week two squads.