Monday 17 September 2007

Football Inquest

I miss footy season already (no, I was not aware there are actually two weeks left in this year's comp. I choose to ignore this fact). Despite the abysmal performance of Melbourne on-field this year, like a masochist I'm looking forward to the utter embarassment that is on show for next year. We've had the delistings (round one of many, one can only hope), and there's a draft to be had somewhere. But first it's trade week, and thankfully we've got a media frenzy on offer to keep things amusing and to ensure the hottest week of trading action ever. Even if nothing happens until 3pm Friday as usual.

CARLTON has the front running to snare Brownlow medallist Chris Judd ahead of almost every other Melbourne club.
The Blues have the money to satisfy Judd's financial demands of about $1 million a year, as well as draft selections and players to offer the Eagles.

They could use Brendan Fevola and Josh Kennedy, a former East Fremantle player, as trade bait.

Geelong and the Western Bulldogs are the only two clubs unlikely to pursue him.

Collingwood, Essendon and Hawthorn have all expressed great interest in Judd, but if a deal isn't struck for Judd to cross to the club of his choice, Richmond would have first crack at him in the pre-season draft where he could cross to the Tigers for free.

Judd told his manager Paul Connors on Thursday, the day before West Coast's loss to Collingwood, that he wanted to return to Melbourne after six seasons with the Eagles.

West Coast chairman Dalton Gooding said last night that he was shocked by the decision.

"I didn't see it coming at all, I did not see it," Gooding said.

"It has certainly stunned everyone.

"Knowing Chris, he is a very deep thinker and someone who has given this a lot of thought.

"My gut feeling would be there would be little hope of changing his mind."

Gooding said the Eagles would now have to negotiate a suitable deal for what he described as the best player to leave a club in 20 years.

Asked what Judd was worth for trade, Gooding replied: "Selections, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Let's face it - whether or not he supported us as a kid is irrelevant. Richard Pratt will lie down on the boardroom table at Princes Park and let Judd teabag him* if it means the kid signs a contract. Carlton have the tradeable picks, the money and the influence to land him - we don't. Without trading away the farm he isn't coming to play for us - especially given the shithouse state of our training facilities. It's about as likely as him being courted by North Melbourne and being taken to see Arden Street only to find out that half of it is burned down and it doesn't actually have a stand on one side.

So there's a nice lineup on offer for the Blues for sure, but good luck trying to fit Judd, Murphy, Gibbs, Kruezer, Stevens and Fevola under the cap in a couple of years. With the amount of Carlton players that will be on the VISY payroll next season* you'd hate to run into their team in the corporate competition.

The only way I can guarantee you that Melbourne will land him is if his groin is completely rooted and he's ready to fall apart. Only we could sign the hottest player of a generation moments before his body completely lost the plot. Besides, is there any danger we could snare a key position player sometime in the next millenium? If Robertson quits, and with Neitz falling apart faster than the Middle East Peace Accords (topical! If we're in 1995) we're likely to score under a hundred for the entire season. I know everyone wants to hump Juice Newton, but he's played ten games and taken mark of the year - let's not stake an entire future on him yet.

Ahh, footy. I loathe it, yet I love it. Tips for the Grand Final? The only thing certain is that the half-time entertainment will be complete gash.

* Denotes comments which are very unlikely to happen, especially if you're a lawyer.

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