AFL Club awards: Judd helps with Carlton’s coming but Fevola’s loss could see them going again.

John Nicholls Medal

by Josh Barnstable

They Know We’re Coming

They Know We’re Coming

They Know We’re Coming

We did know, we didn’t believe, they came, they went. Carlton finally rose from the dark, navy blue abyss it fell down in 2002, on the back of skipper Chris Judd, youngsters Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kreuzer, Aaron Joseph, and the “veterans” of the club such as Andrew Carrazzo, Jordan Russell, Kade Simpson, Brendan Fevola, Nick Stevens and Bret Thornton. A season that started with so much promise ended in such a narrow, heartbreaking way. Leading the Brisbane Lions by a comfortable 30 points in the last quarter, the Blues stalled, the Lions got a sniff and won by seven points, and just like that, the season was wasted. Lots of Blues supporters blame Daniel Bradshaw, but may be worshipping the player after he announced he’s leaving the Lions to come back to Victoria. And with the Blues without Brendan Fevola who went north, they desperately need someone to kick the goals next season, or the next few years will resemble the past seven, but we know Carlton will get plenty of support from these players, minus number four:

1. Chris Judd

The maestro, the skipper, the so-called best player in the modern era has dipped his colours in the past couple of years but still remains the most important player in the Carlton line-up. Finished second in the Brownlow Medal, after a season where he didn’t miss a game and averaged 26.5 disposals. He laid 4.4 tackles a match, and kicked 12.19, with his inaccuracy in front of goals on of the few flaws in his gamestyle. Will miss the first three games of the year after an infamous incident in the Elimination Final against Brisbane where he allegedly eye-gouged Michael Rischitelli, not for the first time in his career. Led the AFL in inside 50’s and clearances, his best match came against Collingwood in Round 8, where he picked up 32 possessions, took seven marks, laid eight tackles, kicked a goal and even took a pack mark. Vice-captain of the 2009 All-Australian team. Could match Adam Goodes in the next few years with two Brownlow Medals, and even Haydn Bunton after that.

2. Marc Murphy

Murphy had a breakout season, blitzing the opposition and adding a new dimension to his gameplay: goalkicking. Murphy played each of the 23 games for the season, averaged 25.6 disposals and kicked 31.17. He laid 3.9 tackles a match, and put the ball inside 50 4.4 times. He collected a career-high 37 touches in Round 21 against Melbourne, but his most prolific game was against North Melbourne in Round 18 where he picked up 23 touches, took six marks and kicked four goals, also a career-high. Finished equal ninth in the Brownlow Medal with…

3. Bryce Gibbs

The Blues star midfielder, still only 20 years old, had a magnificent third season where he played every game, averaged 26.7 disposals, four tackles, 4.7 inside 50’s and 6 marks. He kicked 15.8, with a best for the season of two. His best game of the year came in the final round of the Home and Away season, he collected 37 touches against Adelaide, a career-high, took four marks and laid four tackles, as well as kicking a goal in the 72-point loss. Will finish in the top five for the Brownlow Medal next season.

4. Brendan Fevola

We all know what happened to Fev at the Brownlow Medal, we all know he is playing for the Brisbane Lions as of next year, and we also know that he had an outstanding year in 2009, a year that would be his last for Carlton. Sporting a shaved head for the duration of the year, Fevola took out the Coleman Medal for the second time in his career, booting 89.57 and averaging 12.9 touches. He took 6.4 marks a game, and his forward pressure was a highlight of his game. Played every match for the year, with a career-best of nine goals against Richmond in Round 15, along with bags of eight (twice), seven, six (twice), five (thrice) and four (twice). Will be sorely missed.

5. Matthew Kreuzer

The third of the number one draft picks to feature in the top five for Carlton, Kreuzer played every game, averaging 13.9 disposals, 3.2 marks and 3.1 tackles. He finished 11th in the competition for total hitouts, and booted 13.11. His best game came in Round 5 against Western Bulldogs, where he collected 17 disposals, took four marks, laid four tackles, won 14 hitouts and kicked two goals.

6. Jordan Russell

Russell came of age in 2009, cementing a spot in the Carlton team that he has had great difficulty breaking into, and is starting to show why the Blues took him at number nine in the 2004 Draft. Russell played 20 games, averaging 16.7 possessions, five marks and 3.8 tackles. He kicked 6.4 for the year, with a career-best of two against the Western Bulldogs, a game where he also picked up 19 touches. His best effort was against Melbourne in Round 21 where he collected 24 possessions, took five marks and laid seven tackles.

7. Paul Bower

The Maori defender had a breakout season in 2009, playing 21 games and averaging 19.5 disposals and 5.8 marks. He did not trouble the scoresheet for the season, but made the statisticians work when thrown into the midfield. He collected a career-best 27 disposals against West Coast in Round 10, and the next week he picked up 25 and took nine marks.

8. Kade Simpson

Simpson had an average season for the Blues, stepping up as a vital leader in a young midfield. He averaged 21.3 disposals a match, and 3.6 tackles. He kicked 15.12, with a best of three coming against Geelong and Melbourne in Rounds 19 and 21 respectively. His best game came in Round 16 against Sydney, where he picked up 30 possessions, a career-high, took eight marks, laid six tackles and kicked a goal in the 61-point win.

9. Bret Thornton

The evergreen defender had a season to remember, playing 21 games and averaging 19.3 disposals and eight marks a match. One game off playing his 150th, he ranked ninth in the competition for marks, and also had a good season racking up the touches, with a career-best 30 and eight marks coming against Geelong in Round 19. His best game came in Round 5 against the Western Bulldogs, where he picked up 27 touches and took 14 marks. In Round 18 against North Melbourne, Thornton floated forward after being injured and kicked a career-high two crucial goals, taking his career tally to four.

10. Aaron Joseph

Joseph was one of the surprises of the year down at Visy Park, with the baby Blue making his debut in Round 1 against Richmond, and staying in the side for the whole year, even playing his first final against Brisbane. He came into the side as the main tagger after an impressive shutdown role on Gary Ablett in the NAB Cup. He put in many great performances throughout the year, and will be in deep competition with Liam Picken throughout his career with the baby Bulldog having a terrific first season as a tagger. He averaged 11.2 disposals and laid four tackles a match. His best game came in Round 21 against Melbourne where he picked up 19 possessions.

After a year that promised so much, the Blues may already be on the decline. After losing Fevola to Brisbane, they gained Lachie Henderson but I can’t see him answering the goalkicking woes the Blues will have next year. Their season next year depends on Daniel Bradshaw. If he chooses Carlton the Blues should stay around the top 8 mark, but without a key-forward they will find themselves at that dark abyss again.


  1. John Butler says

    Nice work Josh (as with all your post seson wrap-ups)

    Especially glad to see you give J Russell some kudos. He cops plenty from some of the faithfull, but has improved dramatically over the last two years.

    I will disagree with you re Fev however.

    His loss may certainly impact next year, but overall, I think we’ll be better off with more diverse scoring options (or at least I’m hoping so).

    I suspect young Mr Henderson may spend as much time in defense as forward.

    The crucial factor may be Jarrad Waite’s recovery from the reco.


  2. Thanks for your opinion, would you ever want Waite playing out of the goalsquare?

    I suppose the Blues may be headed up, they kicked 20 odd goals against Richmond in Round 1 this year and Fev only kicked 2, but i cant see that happening for the whole season.

  3. Steve Healy says

    Guys, we’re changing threads cos the other’s getting too long.

    I really can’t wait for this channel, a lot of the games are around the 2000 era which really suits me.

  4. Thanks mate.

    Ohh this sounds really good, mum’s being saying we need to get a good set-top box so we can watch the hi-def channels. I just have to say it’ll further my footy writing career and she’ll get it :)

    Oh that’s an idea, reckon the Almanac would accept match reports of games from the early 00’s or the late 20th century?

  5. Oh and to J. Butler, Waite is ahead of schedule and is gunning towards a Round 1 return

  6. Steve Healy says

    Maybe, I’ve scored a few old games on Bigpond TV

  7. Did that guide Damo sent have much game from 2002-2008? They are the games i would be most interested in. I couldnt open up that link

  8. Steve Healy says

    I’ll check later, I’ve gotta go now

  9. K

  10. Steve Healy says

    Ok Josh, these are the games that are on from November 1-7

    Sunday night

    1:30 AM West Coast V Adelaide, Round 4 2000

    3:30 AM Melbourne V Fremantle, Round 10 1999

    Monday night

    1:30 AM 1984 Grand Final Hawthorn V Essendon

    3:30 AM 2007 SEMI FInal West Coast V Collingwood

    Tuesday night

    1:30 AM Round 9 2007 Melbourne V Kangaroos

    3:30 AM Round 16 2009 Richmond V Kangaroos

    Wednesday night

    1:30 AM Round 21 1999 Western Bulldogs V WCE

    3:30 Round 15 2009 WB V COLL

    Thursday night

    1:30 Round 17 2001 WB V RICH

    3:30 Round 3 1997 PA V GEEL

    Friday night

    1:30 Prelim final 2009 St.Kilda V WB

    3:30 QF 1993 ESS V CARL

    Saturday night

    1:30 2008 GF Geel V Haw

    3:30 1977 GF NM V COLL

    There all at 1:30 and 3:30 AM

  11. Hmmm i would totally stay up to watch those

  12. Damian Watson says

    You can also add St Kilda v Adelaide 1994 on the Sunday morning Nov 8.

  13. Steve Healy says

    I’m gonna watch Sunday night and monday night, and then Friday night and Saturday night. Or at least attemp to.

  14. Damian Watson says

    Plus there are Footy Flashbacks repeats throughout breakfast time Saturday morning.

    Damn I’m at cricket!!

  15. Steve Healy says

    It’s great that it starts on the Melbourne cup weekend so it lets Australia stay up on Sunday and Monday night

  16. I never really liked Footy Flashbacks.

    I would only stay up to watch the 2000-2009 games, my teachers would understand why i would be asleep in class though lol

  17. Steve Healy says

    Why don’t you like games before 2000 Josh?

  18. Damian Watson says

    By the way Josh great review, loved the stats too.

    The irony that Bradshaw is coming to the Blues after effectively ending our season, ahh footy is such a funny game.

  19. Because they dont feature much players that are still playing now, or stopped playing in the past few seasons. I dunno why but i just cant get into a game when i dont know the players

  20. Hmm i dunno Damo, i think the Swans have more cash to offer him. Thanks

  21. Damian Watson says

    Looking forward to seeing Tony Modra bag 10 goals against your vulnerable Dees on Sunday night Steve lol.

  22. Steve Healy says

    Oh ok. I know quite a few players from that era, but not a lot. I know all the Melbourne players.

  23. Looking forward to seeing Swallow kick the winning goal to beat the Dees Steve lol

  24. Steve Healy says

    Same. But I just really wanna see an old Dees game.

    Will you be up to see Carlton’s 2 point victory in 1993 QF?

  25. Steve Healy says

    Oh don’t remind me Josh lol.

    I remember that game, I was listening to the end in the car on the way home from my footy match! That was the worst day of my life since I was listening to Melbourne V Port Adelaide’s end 4 weeks earlier in the car on the way home lol

  26. Damian Watson says

    I’ll probably just tape it, I’ve seen the game before anyway, Sticks and Greg Williams were on fire!

    lol I just found a funny International Rules clip, he’s a Jack Russell as well:

  27. Hmmm i remember listening on the radio to the game and the Dees were just coming back and all the commentators were showing a lot of support to the Dees, even JB (it was Triple M) and then the Dees hit the front and i didnt wanna listen anymore so i turned it off, then an hour later got up and walked into the kitchen and the radio was on Triple M and Brent Harvey was talking about how great the win was lol i was very confused at the time

  28. Steve Healy says

    Yeah lol I’ve seen that before,

    It’s funny how someone brought a dog into the stadium

  29. Its funny how someone bought a pig into a stadium lol the Plugga Pig

  30. Damian Watson says

    Here’s a good trivia question, Who was the Sydney player that caught the pig?

  31. Lockett?? lol maybe Creswell?

  32. Damian Watson says

    I’m not giving away the answer until the Statsman has a guess.

  33. Steve Healy says

    lol, um, I should know this since I’ve seen the 90s DVD quite a few times. nah dunno

  34. my Dad says Darren Holmes lol

  35. Damian Watson says

    His name was Darren Holmes who played a few seasons for Sydney in the early 90’s and then moved to Fitzroy to play the last two seasons of that clubs history.

    He appeared on The Footy Show a couple of times after he retired cooking the pig on the BBQ.

    Speaking of BBQ I’m having dinner right now, BRB.

  36. Damian Watson says

    Well done Josh’s dad!

  37. Steve Healy says

    All these early dinner eaters- dinners never ready till 7:30 at the Healy household, 7:15 at the earliest

  38. Im having Chicken Parma for tea tonight, can’t bloody wait! My friends say they only come to my place so they can have mum’s Parma, she cooks the best!

  39. Steve Healy says

    My mums only ever made Chicken Parma once, and once I attempted to make it- I haven’t cooked ever since.

  40. Oh and my mum makes the best Mashed Potatoes, those two would probably be my favourite foods.

  41. Steve Healy says

    My mum makes the best Lemon chicken, chicken curry and Lasanga

  42. I dont think i’ve ever had Lemon chicken, never really heard of it in fact

  43. Steve Healy says

    Lol its the best we usually have it once a week

  44. hey boys!]
    danni here jst in for a bit cos im painting my nails and stuff for 2mro night!
    candy txted me app the heels she bought for 2mro nite will mean i will have to carry her to the car when the party is over!
    my outfit is all set, but its kinda hard typing with wet nails!

  45. Steve Healy says

    Yes, wet nails are the recipe for disaster when it comes to typing

  46. What’s on tomorrow night Danni?

  47. lol nice to see you understand steve! :)
    its gonna be funny cos by the end of the night me and candy wont be able to walk yet ill have to carry her cos she told me her new shoes are even worse (higher) than the ones she wore to the ball which were REALLYY BAD cos she couldnt feel her legs!

  48. oh my friend is having her 18th birthday.

  49. Oh ok

  50. Steve Healy says

    You’ve finished school havent you?

  51. Our Year 9’s finish fairly soon, yippee

  52. no not yet, nearly.

  53. Steve Healy says

    Really? I’ve still got till December the 3rd or something

  54. okay time for toe-nails!!
    my feet are gonna kill 2mro, im so excited!
    hopefully well take some pics that candy can put up so you guys can see.

  55. We finish around 30th of November but school lasts till the 20th of December but from November to December its just summer activites crap so i dont show up

  56. Dont get too smashed Danni lol

  57. Damian Watson says

    We finish on November 27 but we have exams for the next week so technically it is December 3rd.

  58. I cant wait to get free periods, so i can sleep in if i have a double free in the morning or whatever lol

  59. lmaoo well i cant promise you that!
    wheres DAMO???

  60. Damo’s right here, i wanna know where my Orangutan buddy is

  61. OHH hey DAMO!!

    LOL i have frees, they are THE BEST EVER!!

  62. Damian Watson says

    What are these free periods? We don’t have them at our school.

  63. I think you would Damo, they are for year 11 and 12’s only i think

  64. YUP frees are when you dont have any class and you dont have to be supervized by a teacher.
    i spend mine chilling, talking, eating and ipoding with candy.

  65. Damian Watson says

    Did anyone read that Wayne Carey article in the Herald Sun?

    lol I would’ve given anything to be at Glenn Archer’s party when everyone found out that Carey slept with her.

  66. Steve Healy says

    No I didn’t read that article in the worse paper


  68. Steve Healy says

    Oh well atleast it wasn’t pepper spray lol

  69. Yeah i read it in Maccas today, im not allowed to buy the book :(

  70. LOL Josh, why?
    inappropriate stuff in it?

  71. Steve Healy says

    gota go for dinner.

  72. No, parents just wont let me “read the filth that he writes” but i’ll probably buy it anyway. Remember we are pretty good friends with Stevo so we frown upon anything to do with The Duck.

    Oh funny thing happened in Maccas today, i got a frozen coke drink and Mum got a frozen raspberry. I also got a chocolate sundae and we had to leave so mum told me to hurry up and finish both of them, so i poured my sundae which i hadn’t touched yet into the frozen coke, then poured some of mum’s raspberry drink in it, then when i got home i put sour snakes in it, a boost bar, a timeout bar, a whole packet of wizz fizz and froze it. Bout to go take it out now and drink it…

  73. one word-


  74. Mmmmmmm yummo, i shoulda blended it

  75. Damian Watson says

    That’s like an ice-cream shop here in the city called Cold Rock where you mash up random foods.

    How does it taste?

  76. Yes Damo we have Cold Rock in the country too lol

    It tastes just like frozen raspberry, but once i get to the bottom im sure the wizz fizz and other stuff will kick in lol

  77. im sorry, but i wont eat stuff like that unless the whole thing consists of chocolate

  78. There was chocolate in there somewhere Danni

  79. you know i think for my wedding, you knwo how some people put ‘cash only’ as their preferanced gift? ill put CHOCOLATE ONLY, AND NOT THE CHEAPO KIND!!

  80. I hate dark chocolate

  81. omg!
    I LOVE IT!!!!!
    i hate white chocolate

  82. What? i love it! lol

  83. lmaoo we are so opposites!

  84. Lol cadbury is the best though :P

  85. yesss!!

    man im craving chocolate now!
    its funny cos i always get really bad cravings, i feel bad for my husband when i get pregnant cos its really bad now! LMAOO

  86. Damian Watson says

    I don’t really eat Cadbury they put heaps of Vegetable Acid in their chocolate, I like their Boost bars though.

    I prefer Italian and Belgium chocolate, they have the best taste.

    Swiss chocolate is to DIE FOR!!
    I love Lindt chocolate.

  88. I bought German white chocolate when i was in “Germany” last year, it tasted alright. My favourite chocolate from cabdury is the Flake

  89. Guylian is my favourite Belgian chocolate

  90. Damian Watson says

    Yeah Swiss chocalate is tasty as well, Lindt is my favourite and Ferrero Rocher is pretty good too.

  91. Steve Healy says

    I like all types of Chocolate, but not all brands

  92. Steve Healy says

    And everyone my Melbourne best and fairest piece is up!

  93. yes i like myself a Swiss Federer Rocher as well. ;)

  94. And i love freddo frogs too, plus kinder surprises

  95. KINDER SURPRISES!! OMGGG i grew up eating those.

    :( i feel so OLD

  96. Steve Healy says

    I had a dark chocolate mars bar the other day

  97. OMG I LOVE the dark chocolate Cherry ripes!!

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