Blues coach considers Judd up front - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues coach considers Judd up front

By Guy Hand 16/11/2009 04:47:53 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has floated the shock prospect of using Chris Judd at full-forward next season as the Blues search for ways to replace departed goal machine Brendan Fevola.

Fevola was shipped to Brisbane in AFL trade week as the Blues tired of his off-field misdemeanours.

But it has left a 90-goals-a-season sized hole in Carlton's forward structure, with Ratten considering all options to ensure the Blues suffer no lasting scoreboard damage through 2010.

Among the possibilities is onballer Judd spending some time at full-forward.

It's a move Ratten believes will have dual benefits of providing his skipper with short freshen-ups away from midfield, and finding much-needed goals from a different source.

"We'll be looking at what we can do in our front 50 now and we'll change a few things because we need to," Ratten admitted of Fevola's departure.

"There'll be more opportunities for so many more players.

"Even some of our medium-sized players will get an opportunity to play down there - even Judd at full-forward as well.

"Whether it's at full-forward or in the forward 50 a little bit more, I think we need to help Chris a bit more to make sure he doesn't get battered and bruised year in, year out.

"It will be good for us to try Judd in that forward 50 as well."

Ratten is also keen to use several of his bigger bodies as potential forward targets.

As the Blues kicked off full pre-season training on Monday, Ratten name-checked Setanta o'hAilpin, emerging big man Matthew Kreuzer and the recovered Jarrad Waite as possibilities.

Waite, who missed most of last season with a serious knee injury, can be used as either a key back or forward and has successfully played both positions.

The potential recruitment of ex-St Kilda defender Matt Maguire, who is training with the Blues in the hope of being picked up in the pre-season draft, could be pivotal in how Carlton use Waite.

Ratten said Waite was on track to return for the opening match of the season.

"With Jarrad, he started his pre-season about a month ago and he's put in some pretty big steps forward," Ratten said.

"He'll be really close (for round one), but it depends on whether he has any hurdles on his way.

"We've got a plan in place and hopefully all the boxes are ticked every month and all will go well."

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