Carlton crew go unnoticed amongst Judd - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carlton crew go unnoticed amongst Judd

By Tim Clarke 01/05/2008 05:34:14 PM Comments (0)

When Brendan Fevola and Nick Stevens can walk through an airport in an AFL-mad town without anyone taking a blind bit of notice, you know something peculiar is occurring.

And so it was when Chris Judd arrived in Perth, back in the city which used to love him, and half of which is waiting to boo him on Friday, or at least pay good money in the hope of seeing him lose.

Judd and his new Carlton crew landed ahead of their clash with West Coast on Friday amid curious onlookers, most of whom wanted to grab an autograph, snap a picture or in one case introduce a baby to the Brownlow medallist and former Eagles skipper.

And while the clash of the teams has been overshadowed by the return of one man, Stevens said Judd's new Blues teammates had all been impressed how he had handled a big week.

"In house, we have not really mentioned it too much. But obviously there has been a fair bit of media in Melbourne, and obviously there will be a fair bit here," Stevens said.

"It is obviously a tough one for Juddy, but to see the way the guys handles it, he just takes everything in his stride. He is so professional in the way he conducts himself.

"It is great for the young guys to see someone under that media pressure, the way he conducts himself and goes about his footy."

While everyone in Perth knows about Judd, the man himself would also know a fair bit about Perth's struggling powerhouse - an asset Stevens said would be used ahead of Friday night's bounce.

"There is no doubt we would have been spoken to during the week, and asked him a few questions about how they play," Stevens said.

"They are probably playing a little bit different to when he was there also.

"But we will call on his knowledge over the next 24 hours for sure."

Without the suspended Daniel Kerr and the injured Shannon Hurn and Adam Hunter, the Eagles also dumped Brent Staker - recalling Jamie Graham, Chad Fletcher, Jamie McNamara and Mark Nicoski.

But it was Brett Ratten who sprung the biggest selection surprise, bringing in 177cm, 72kg David Ellard for his debut at Subiaco, a few miles from where he was schooled at Guildford Grammar.

Stevens joked that the awaiting press pack must have been there to meet the 19-year-old - while promising the Blues would also be waiting if the Eagles players or supporters tried to rough up their former captain.

"Every time you go out to play footy you support one another, and those boys will test him out I am sure," Stevens said.

"But I am sure everyone admires what Chris Judd did for the West Coast footy club.

"I think they (the fans) will boo him, everyone who leaves a club has to go through that, and he is expecting that as well.

"But deep down everyone will also respect Chris Judd, knows what he did, and once the final siren has gone everyone will give him a good reception."

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