Ratten thinks Judd can improve - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ratten thinks Judd can improve

By Roger Vaughan 21/09/2010 08:14:01 AM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten still sees potential improvement in two-time AFL Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd.

The Carlton captain was a stunning and popular winner of Monday night's count, making him only the fourth player to win Brownlow's at two clubs.

There will be ongoing debate over whether Judd should have been suspended for the round-13 incident with Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich and therefore made ineligible for the medal.

"I didn't think he had anything to worry about," Ratten said of the clash.

Eyebrows were also raised when he polled three votes for his 37-possession game in round six, given that Collingwood thumped the Blues by 53 points.

But no-one questions Judd's status as one of the elite players of his generation.

While his great year made for a quick post-season review between player and coach, Ratten thinks the 27-year-old can further develop.

"Being the great player he is, he's such a great leader and there wasn't a lot to point out, but he still has growth in his game," Ratten said.

Ratten pointed to last year's Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett, who spent more time forward this season to great effect.

Judd has only kicked 179 goals in his 198 games and just 14 this season.

"We can see what he can do as a forward, he can hit the scoreboard and really hit the opposition," Ratten said.

"Our midfield is growing, with Chris going forward it might develop some others." Judd's suspension after last year's elimination final loss meant he missed the first three games of this season.

But he quickly made up for the late start, polling three votes in his first five matches.

It is the first time a player has managed a five-game streak of best-afield Brownlow games.

Early in the count, Ratten predicted Judd would poll 27 votes. He finished with 30.

"I was pretty happy with my year, but I didn't think (I was in) Brownlow contention - it was a real spin out," he said.

"It's just a tremendous honour, it's humbling and something I'm really going to enjoy and savour." But it is far too early for Judd to start looking back on one of the great AFL careers, which also features the 2004 Brownlow and 2006 premiership at West Coast.

"I've never spent any time reflecting on my footy career as yet, I've never watched either of the grand finals I was involved in at West Coast," he said.

"I have a fear that if I sit back on what's been, that will be a recognition that the best days are gone.

"Hopefully there are some pretty exciting days for Carlton coming up."

Judd won a Brownlow in his third year at West Coast and now has his second medal after three years at Carlton.

He hopes the trend continues and there is a premiership within two years for the Blues.

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