Blues bolster attack, defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues bolster attack, defence

By Roger Vaughan and Greg Buckle 11/10/2010 09:09:30 PM Comments (0)

Carlton have boosted their defence and attack on the last day of AFL trade week, while also managing to retain utility Andrew Walker.

The 103-game veteran, who had been having talks with the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, is now resigned to playing out the final year of his contract with the Blues.

"It wasn't an issue that Andrew had to leave, so he is really happy to stay," Walker's manager Tom Petroro told the AFL website.

"Brett (coach Brett Ratten) is aware of what area he needs to help Andrew with and Andrew's aware also of what he needs to work on."

Port's football operations manager Peter Rohde said the Power always had little faith the Walker deal would happen.

"We were never going to give up early draft picks," Rohde told reporters.

"It was only going to work if we could get a draft pick in from somewhere else, which we didn't get."

Ratten said the Blues had "tested the water" regarding a possible Walker deal.

"All along we thought if something wasn't done to our satisfaction, we'd keep Andrew," Ratten said.

"We (Carlton and Walker) had a chat early and spoke about maybe the opportunity, if something came up, but nothing did and he's a required player."

While the Blues hold high hopes for 24-year-old Walker, Ratten is also thrilled to gain Richmond forward Andrew Collins and Geelong half-back Jeremy Laidler.

Collins comes as a straight swap with Richmond for midfielder Shaun Grigg, while the Cats have given up Laidler and pick 41 to the Blues for picks 36 and 53.

Collins, 21, has played 25 games for the Tigers including a three-goal haul against Sydney in round 14 2010.

"I'm really excited about the faith Carlton have shown in me," the 187cm Collins said.

With Geelong veteran defender Darren Milburn indicating he wants to play on, 21-year-old Laidler found greater opportunities elsewhere.

The two-game player said he had learnt a lot at Geelong but was keen to grab his chance at Carlton.

"They (Carlton) have given me a lot of opportunity and they've said it looks like there are spots available, that I need to put my hand up and take," the 189cm backman said.

"Who knows if I would have played (there) or not, but I've had a good time down at Geelong and it's good to be at the Blues now."

Ratten said Laidler would slot into half-back at Carlton and "he'll play a lot of football".

"Knowing Geelong's backline, how good it is ... the opportunity for Jeremy to get a game was a bit more limited," Ratten said.

"He played one game for 16 possessions and did everything right, but went back down to the reserves."

The Blues also traded ruckman Sam Jacobs to Adelaide.

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