AFL cellar dwellers Carlton have suffered another devastating blow, just weeks after sacking coach Mick Malthouse, with champion midfielder Chris Judd announcing his immediate retirement following a knee injury during Saturday’s loss to Adelaide.
The dual Brownlow medallist landed badly on his left leg after taking a mark in the first quarter, rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament. He was stretchered from the field.
Judd, a 14-year, 279-game veteran, said it was disappointing finish, but “you don’t get to write your ending”.
“I knew the end was coming, but the suddenness has caught me a bit off guard,” he said.
He’d signed on for a year with Carlton, having contemplated retirement at the end of 2014, and admitted that “getting up each week physically to play has been incredibly hard”.
Judd said he knew he he’d never play again when his injury was diagnosed and told his family. His eldest son, Oscar, who turns four next month, told his father he should play soccer when he told him he was giving up footy.
Judd’s debut was for the West Coast in 2002 and he ranks the team’s 2006 premiership, when he captained the side, as a career highlight. He played 134 games for the Eagles before moving to Carlton in 2008. He won the Brownlow in 2004 and again in 2010 Brownlow Medal at Carlton, as well as being runner-up in 2009. He was a six-time All-Australian, including four years in a row, 2008-2011.
Judd singled out recently sacked coach Mick Malthouse for teaching him “a lot of lessons on both football and life.”
He doesn’t see himself taking a full-time role in football in the future, suggesting “something entrepreneurial” instead.
“I’d like to buy a small business but that’ll be a couple years down the track,” Judd said.
Carlton have won just one game from 10 matches this season. They have the bye this weekend before facing Port Adelaide in round 12.
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