Judd the man to stop, again: Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Judd the man to stop, again: Voss

By Laine Clark 05/06/2009 08:03:17 PM Comments (0)

For a bloke who has been tormented by Chris Judd time and again, Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss still can't say enough nice things about the Carlton captain.

Voss is the first to admit that the former Brownlow Medallist appears to deliver only his very best against the Lions.

He learned it the hard way as a rival on the football field.

And Voss received a not-so-subtle reminder in round two this year when he suffered his first loss as an AFL coach thanks to Judd's Blues.

Yet Voss can't give Judd enough raps ahead of Saturday night's AFL clash at the Gabba.

Asked about the Lions' failure to blunt Judd in the past, Voss laughed: "It hasn't been through lack of trying, mate.

"I think great players have a good record against most teams, not one in particular.

"He's played very well against our club but I think that falls into the category of him being a great player."

In an ominous sign, Judd earned three Brownlow votes for his 35 touches in Carlton's last trip to the Gabba - a six-point win over the Lions in last year's round 21.

Voss said the Carlton talisman had overtaken Gary Ablett as the competition's best player.

"As an opposition we get to watch him from afar and he clearly has had an impact on the Carlton Football Club," Voss said.

"The way he conducts himself and the way he represents his club is to be admired.

"For us he is a key focus. When you are talking about which players don't you want to have a great game (Judd is it).

"You always plan for that (stopping Judd) but he normally has something to say about that."

While Voss talked up the Carlton threat, Blues coach Brett Ratten did his best to hose them down.

No one can doubt Judd's claims but Ratten tried to pour cold water over southern reports that Carlton now boasted the AFL's new "Fab Four" - midfielders Judd, Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and Nick Stevens.

However, Ratten said on Friday: "The media down there (Melbourne) can beat it up really quickly and probably deflate really quickly as well.

"Those boys were in pretty good touch for a few weeks but are they the Fab Four - no, they're not.

"Look at Geelong's midfield, they have done it over two, three years.

"Our blokes are working extremely hard at forging their own reputation - but they are no Fab Four."

Daniel Bradshaw may be the Lions' goal-kicking record holder but Voss hinted he may get the tough defensive assignment of marking Brendan Fevola.

The Carlton marksman returned to form with a six-goal haul in last round's win over West Coast.

Voss has been forced to turn to his key forward after injuries to defenders Daniel Merrett and Joel Patfull.

"We are up to Plan Z at the moment," Voss said of his defensive strategy.

The Lions (4th; 6-4 record) have a chance to move ahead of a chasing pack of seven teams all on 5-5, including Carlton.

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