Judd hoping rival AFL captains are right - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd hoping rival AFL captains are right

By Mike Hedge 19/03/2009 08:09:29 PM Comments (0)

It's an unfamiliar tune, but one that Carlton captain Chris Judd is happy to hear.

The Blues, according to Judd's rival captains, are a good thing to make the finals in 2009 and the club is likely to provide the league's leading goalkicker for the season.

Carlton had its best season in four years in 2008 finishing 11th and winning 10 games.

Like so many others, Judd is expecting even more improvement in the coming season.

But if his team is to make the finals, one thing it needs to do is rely less on one of its greatest assets - Brendan Fevola.

Fevola booted 99 goals last year to carry the Blues to most of their victories.

He also finished second in the Coleman Medal.

In `09, however, Judd won't mind if he doesn't equal that tally - so long as some other goalkickers step forward.

"I think one of the big things we've got to do this year is get another option in our forward line," Judd said.

"If we continue to be so Fev-focussed, other teams will keep on putting three or four players in front of him because they know there's no other avenue to goal.

"So really, to become a better team we need to get another couple of targets up there which will really take the load off Fev."

Fevola's performance apart, Judd believes there are a number of other reasons for Carlton to be playing in September.

"We think we're going to be a better side than last year," he said.

"But we haven't played finals for eight years and we realise we're coming from a long way back.

"Some people were probably impressed with our two NAB Cup games.

"Even in the second half of last year we showed something and we were a pretty young side who improved throughout the year."

Long before Judd and his team start thinking about finals football, they have a season to start with a much-anticipated opening match against Richmond.

Judd's match-up against Ben Cousins is one that would have been difficult to imagine for most of their respective careers - for one thing they both played most of their football for the same team.

The Carlton captain, however, is playing it down.

"You can't just treat the elite players with respect," he said.

"We'll do our research on the whole team."

And when they do, it will surprise no-one if they conclude that Judd might need to give Cousins some special attention.

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