Blues have long way to go in AFL: Judd - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues have long way to go in AFL: Judd

Roger Vaughan 20/06/2011 04:35:29 PM Comments (0)

Before Carlton start regaining their famed arrogance, captain Chris Judd would like everyone at the AFL club to complete a simple exercise.

It's called "spot the odd one out".

First, look at the current top four teams and note unbeaten Geelong, second-placed Collingwood and fourth side Hawthorn have won the past four premierships between them.

Then there's third-placed Carlton - last premiership in 1995, last grand final in 1999 and last finals win in 2001.

After two heart-breaking elimination finals losses over the past two seasons, coach Brett Ratten will be clearing out his office unless Carlton win at least one final this year.

As Judd notes, they are still a long way from becoming a genuine top side.

"I don't know if we've earnt the right to start talking like those successful clubs," he said on Monday.

"We have to earn the right before we start talking up the big games and we're aware of that.

"We're aware of where we sit in the big scheme of things, but we're happy with the progress we've made."

Carlton have also lost their two games so far this season against other top-four teams.

But what they are doing superbly is cementing their ladder position.

They dominated Sydney on Sunday and next weekend they host West Coast, the other team trying to break into the top four.

Sydney had owned Carlton for an extended period over the past decade, but Judd said the win itself was far more important than redressing the balance against the Swans.

"A win against them is almost like an eight-point game in vying for that race for the top four," Judd said.

"It was perhaps slightly more important in that sense than a normal game."

Another important feature of the Swans' win was that Judd, by his exalted standards, had a quiet day.

After the 2006 West Coast premiership and two Brownlow Medals, Judd makes no secret that he wants a flag at Carlton before his stellar career ends.

For that to happen, Carlton must have many more days where Judd takes a back seat as team-mates such as Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer shine.

"It's been great for me and for me to have fulfilment in my career, if you like, I'm going to need that," Judd said.

"It's been really exciting, to see the guys develop and just to see how important they've all been for our group's development."

Judd heaped praise on Kreuzer for a brilliant comeback in the last fortnight from his knee reconstruction.

Kreuzer has earned the nickname "Tractor" at Carlton for his relentless work rate.

"The fact that I'm not surprised doesn't take away from just how remarkable an effort it is for him to slot back and play as well as he did yesterday," Judd said.

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