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Blues' AFL leadership in good hands: Judd
By Sam Lienert
16:34 AEST Mon Dec 10 2012

Carlton star Chris Judd says a playing group that was unprofessional, undisciplined and lacking leadership when he arrived now has three good captaincy candidates.

Judd, skipper for the past five seasons, confirmed on Monday he was stepping out of the AFL club's leadership group.

It left Marc Murphy, Andrew Carrazzo and Kade Simpson seemingly in a three-way battle to take the reins, with a new captain expected to be named in February.

Judd said that was a big change from when he arrived from West Coast at the end of 2007 - having captained the Eagles to a premiership a year earlier - to take over a dispirited Blues outfit.

He inherited Carlton's captaincy from Lance Whitnall at the tail-end of the Blues' darkest era.

"I'm still proud of the fact that when I came here it was a pretty unprofessional playing group that probably lacked discipline. I think now we tick those boxes," Judd told Carlton's website.

"The players front up, they're disciplined, they're professional, they do their work, they're self-motivated."

The 29-year-old two-time Brownlow medallist was proud of his legacy in helping develop potential replacements.

"Five years ago there weren't a whole host of players who made obvious leaders," he said.

"To be able to step aside from the role and have probably three guys that could step into the role as captain and do a really good job ... it shows that our leadership stocks have come a long way."

Judd said shedding the title should free him up for more family time and pursuits away from football, as well as enhancing his enjoyment of the game, but wouldn't stop him being a leader.

"I certainly won't be pushing any less hard to bring success to this club," he said.

The three-time Blues best and fairest, who also won that honour twice with West Coast, said as new coach Mick Malthouse started his reign it made sense to anoint a new captain with fresh ideas.

He said Malthouse's influence was already apparent.

"He's very clear in what he wants. I think the players have really taken to it," he said.

"They've taken to the work, training's changed up quite a lot."

Judd said the Blues also had an increased focus on minimising injuries at training this pre-season, which so far was paying off.


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