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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 June 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2015 29 SPORT Tributes flow for Judd Lance Franklin, Gary Ablett Jnr join the chorus of well-wishers after the annoucement of Chris Judd’s retirement The tributes came pouring in - as they were always going to - the moment Chris Judd confirmed his celebrated AFL career was over. His contemporaries lined up on Twitter to laud Judd, with Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy perhaps saying it best. "The player we all wished we could be. Champion," tweeted Murphy. There could and would be no arguments with the "champion" tag. But where does Chris Judd sit in the pantheon of modern-day greats? Gary Ablett Junior and Wayne Carey are invariably the names that get thrown up when that question is posed, and Judd's 279-match career with West Coast and Carlton stacks up well in most areas. Ablett and Carey each have an extra premiership flag to cherish, but Judd's rare package of breakaway speed, silky disposal and raw power have seen him rightly praised over the course of his AFL journey. Two Brownlow Medals, a Norm Smith Medal, six AllAustralian nods and five bestand-fairest gongs make for a dazzling resume, but Judd was in no doubt which honour sits at the pinnacle. "The premiership stands head and shoulders above the rest," Judd said of the 2006 flag he won with the Eagles while their captain. "That was such a special day for a whole number of reasons." But looked at in a different way, an argument could be made that one of Judd's con- Back on track After a week off, the Spartans are ready to get back to winning ways The Spartans have had a full two weeks of training to get back on top of things after they suffered a tough loss to Prahran Assumption. The bye came at a good time, as the 10 point loss was in part thanks to 15 missing players. Seeing as the team has hit the middle of the season, it's understandable that injuries have piled up. The Spartans were able to train at Collingwood's Westpac Centre this week, using their ground and all their gym facilities to sharpen up the team and get back on track. They're up for a big challenge today, going up against Richmond Central. They're currently two spots below the Spartans on the ladder on 16 points to the Spartan's 22. Last time the two met, the Spartans beat Richmond by 33 points. They will be travelling and so they will be missing the home advantage. The Spartans play today at 9.20 am at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. "Unbelievable career well done on everything you have achieved." Chris Judd pushed into retirement after an ACL injury. temporaries from the celebrated 2001 draft has been even better. Luke Hodge, taken two spots ahead of Judd at number one, is still writing his AFL story. In terms of premierships won - and the roles he played in them - Hodge gets the nod. He has won three flags with the Hawks and on two occasions - in 2008 and 2014 - won the Norm Smith Medal as the best player afield on the sport's biggest stage. "It was a pleasure playing against one of the greatest to play our game," Hodge tweeted. "Well done on a magnificent career." PHOTO: AAP/JOE CASTRO. Their names will be forever intertwined. Lance Franklin, a two-time premiership winner with the Hawks, also has more opportunities to add to his football legacy but he had no doubt where Judd sat in the game's history. "Congrats to the best player I've seen," Franklin tweeted. Melbourne great Garry Lyon described Judd as the best player of the modern era, while former West Coast team-mate Glen Jakovich called him "the greatest ever Eagle". With his wrecked knee making it obvious to Judd that he had played his last match, he admitted he broke a careerlong habit leading up to Tuesday's announcement. "I've indulged a bit in the last few days and read some of the things that have been written about me," Judd said. "I've never read a huge amount written about me, but it has been nice to hear some of those comments." Judd described joining a football club as a bit like having a child in that the Eagles and Blues will always be a part of his fabric. The same is true in reverse, with Blues chief executive Steven Trigg thanking Judd for the "profound impact he had on football generally and our club in particular". Fremantle suffers first loss Docker’s coach Ross Lyons shifts emphasis on attacking Coach Ross Lyon is not concerned about Fremantle's first defeat of the AFL season or the loss of another key defender ahead of Saturday's trip to the Gold Coast to take on the Suns. Fremantle went down to a resurgent Richmond by 27 points last weekend to end a nine-game winning streak, losing 200-gamer Michael Johnson to a serious hamstring injury in the process. That will keep Johnson out for up to 10 weeks as he joins fellow defenders Zac Dawson (broken hand) and Alex Silvagni (hamstring) on the sidelines, but Lyon is confident he has enough depth in his squad to cover their absence. Using their time wisely, the Spartans trained at Collingwood’s Westpac Centre this week. Luke McPharlin will continue to be the rock of the Dockers’ defence and Lyon is prepared to back in Alex Pearce Fremantle Dockers coach Ross Lyon directs his players. to return to the team after a three-week absence to play as the second tall backman. However, he knows the 20-year-old will have some up-and-down moments. "I think commonsense prevails here. He's (Pearce) a young defender, playing his second or third game and we know he can really play a bit, but he's going to get beaten at times," Lyon said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for Alex and hopefully he'll get a run at it, but he hasn't got it locked down. He's going to have to perform. It's not all doom and gloom. But we acknowledge we would love to have Michael playing. We'll be fine without him." Tanner Smith could also get his chance after strong recent form in the WAFL, while Matt Taberner and Chris Mayne are other options to pinchhit in the back half. While the problems in defence have been highlighted PHOTO: AAP/JULIAN SMITH. following the loss to Richmond, Lyon has been more focused on improving Fremantle's ball movement. "Our workrate was a bit down without the ball but it was as much our ball movement, to be honest," Lyon said. "That's what we worked on Tuesday, we'll work on it again because that's what had really improved this year. We spoke about running and spreading and attacking, we didn't focus on defence."
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