Judd set for WA farewell
Chris Judd back in Perth yesterday. Pic: Nic Ellis/WA News

The debate over whether Chris Judd played his best football for West Coast or Carlton is amusing.

Judd may make his last Patersons Stadium appearance for Carlton against Fremantle tonight in his 133rd game for the Blues. He played 134 for West Coast.

He is still playing well enough to go on but, with a 31st birthday looming, there are suggestions he is as likely not to.

Judd has two grand finals, one premiership and a Norm Smith Medal to show for his time at the Eagles, a Brownlow Medal at each club, two All-Australian jumpers at the Eagles and four at Carlton.

That last statistic and the fact we even have the debate about whether Judd was a better Eagle or Blue, tells us that the tyranny of trans-Nullarbor travel is still alive.

When Dean Cox announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago I said he was West Coast's greatest player. But I made the distinction greatest, rather than best.

Judd is the best player to pull on an Eagles jumper and his best here was better than anything he has done at Carlton.

If you want the stat which shows this, don't look for Brownlow votes, best and fairests or All-Australian jumpers. Look for goals - the things which win games.

In 134 games for the Eagles, Judd kicked 138. In 132 matches for the Blues, he has kicked 82.

In round 12, 2003, at the Gabba, midfielder Judd kicked five goals in half a game against the might of Brisbane. He finished with five from 17 touches.

When he had 30 possessions, including 16 contested, and kicked one goal in a West Coast win over Brisbane at Subiaco Oval the next season - a best- on-ground effort in anyone's language - Lions coach Leigh Matthews said post-match that when it came to coping with an opposition's gun midfielders, he would prefer they had 30 and one goal than 17 and five any day.

Lethal spoke too soon.

In 2006 against the Lions, Judd ran up 39 touches, kicking four goals. When you talk about the ultimate midfielder's game, that one comes pretty close.

Cox, Judd, Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr were football's best midfield quartet at their peak and Judd was the best of them.

Take a good look at him tonight. It might be our last "live" look at an undisputed gun.

The West Australian

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