September beckons again for Judd - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

September beckons again for Judd

By Roger Vaughan 02/09/2009 10:06:08 AM Comments (0)

Carlton captain Chris Judd calls himself "future oriented", to the point where he is yet to watch footage of West Coast's 2005-06 AFL grand finals.

The only football video he wants to watch this week is the scouting reports on the Brisbane onballers.

Inevitably, when he fronted the media this week he was asked to talk about the last time he played in the finals two years ago.

Just as inevitably, Judd played a dead bat to all those questions.

Coming off a 72-point walloping from Adelaide in round 22, Judd wants to put the immediate and more distant past of his football career behind him.

Nursing a serious groin injury that would soon need surgery, Judd watched as the Eagles ended their 2007 season with an extra-time semi-final loss to Collingwood at Subiaco.

Within weeks, the Eagles dynasty that had won the 2006 premiership was in tatters, with Judd going to Carlton and Ben Cousins kicked out of the club and hit with an AFL suspension.

So much has changed, but the essence of finals football remains - being able to thrive under September pressure.

"That pressure is one of the things that makes playing AFL footy really exciting," Judd said.

"It's that pressure, at the end of the game that sense of relief that comes across the whole team when you have had a victory.

"That relief wouldn't be nearly as great were it not for the pressure and anxiety that comes across the whole footy club before you take to the field.

"Each player has to come up with their own way of coping with that."

Part of the pressure at Carlton is that this is a club that demands finals success.

They are ending the worst period in Blues' history, an eight-year absence from September.

Former Blues premiership coach David Parkin and club president Stephen Kernahan have already spoken to the players to deliver a simple message - in the finals, Carlton expects.

"Stephen Kernahan made a good point ... he spoke about Cyril Rioli's performance in last year's grand final (for Hawthorn)," Judd said.

"He had 10 touches (but) there were very few blokes on the ground who had a bigger impact on the game.

"The message from that was just to go out there and play your role.

"We don't expect all 22 players to go out there and be best on ground, but if they're playing their role and contributing and bringing to the table what they're expected to, then that's all the club expects."

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