Johnstone heads north, Judd heads east - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnstone heads north, Judd heads east

By Jordan Chong and Sam Lienert 11/10/2007 07:27:51 PM Comments (0)

Two high-profile midfielders found a new home in another state.

While Chris Judd's arrival to Carlton was trumpeted on Thursday afternoon at a packed media conference, Travis Johnstone's move to Brisbane was announced via a statement on Melbourne's website and a Lions media release.

After 10 seasons, 160 games and 111 goals at Melbourne, Johnstone was traded to the Lions in exchange for a first-round selection - the 14th overall pick at the national draft.

The Lions had secured pick 14 earlier in the day when they dealt promising young ruckman Cameron Wood to Collingwood.

"His experience, ball winning ability and silky smooth skills will be an asset for the Lions midfield in future seasons," the Lions' statement said.

Although the 27-year-old Johnstone took out Melbourne's best-and-fairest award in 2005, he struggled with injury and poor form this year, playing just 15 games and finishing outside the top 10 at this year's count.

Melbourne's recruiting and list management manager, Craig Cameron, said the trade enabled the club to add another first-round selection at the draft "which will allow us to have another good opportunity to select a promising young talent."

The Demons already have the fourth overall selection.

Collingwood gave up a first-round pick to recruit the 20-year-old Wood and bolster their ruck stocks.

A Rising Star nominee this year, Wood played 16 games for Brisbane but was locked in fierce battle with leading ruckman Jamie Charman and teenager Matthew Leuenberger.

Veteran Beau McDonald also remains under contract at the Lions.

In a statement, Collingwood coach Michael Malthouse said Wood's arrival will give No.1 ruckman Josh Fraser much needed support.

"At 204cm, he's our tallest player, which gives us the opportunity to get our hand to the football. We've been under a bit of pressure, as no doubt everyone is aware," Malthouse said.

"He's a young ruckman that has been in the system for three years, he's played second fiddle to some very good ruckmen up in Brisbane, and we feel that under Josh, he will develop quickly into a very good ruckman."

Collingwood's weakness in the ruck was no more cruelly exposed than in their preliminary final loss to Geelong, where despite being thrashed at the stoppages they lost to the eventual premiers by less than a kick.

Fraser was absent through injury.

"The boys have tried their hardest in the middle, but sometimes when you're giving away inches and kilos, it's difficult to get to the ball," Malthouse said.

Melbourne was involved in another trade on Thursday, picking up Adelaide ruckman John Meesen for pick No.37.

Meanwhile, Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley is yet to sign a new contract after protracted negotiations continued on Thursday.

Kangaroos football manager Donald McDonald confirmed Laidley's agent Ricky Nixon met with club chief executive Rick Aylett on Thursday.

McDonald was adamant a deal was not far off.

"Dean Laidley's not going anywhere, Dean Laidley's coaching North Melbourne," McDonald said.

Nixon refused to comment when contacted on Thursday night.

In other football news Melbourne announced Sean Wellman as their new assistant coach.

In a statement, new Demons coach Dean Bailey said Wellman, who has spent the past two seasons at the Western Bulldogs, will be responsible for the backline.

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