Judd an eagle
Reigning Brownlow medallist Chris Judd has re-signed with the West Coast Eagles for a further two seasons, ending speculation that he was considering a return to his native Victoria at the end of 2005.
The contract extension, announced in Perth on Friday morning, means the West Coast Eagles have secured one of the AFL's brightest stars until at least the end of the 2007 season.
The signature of the former Caulfield Grammar and Sandringham Under-18s player has been one of the most highly sought-after in football over the last couple of years, as most Victorian clubs tried to play the ‘come home’ card.
But the star midfielder has dealt a further blow to their chances of snaring him as he approaches the peak of his career, after saying that he’d like to be a one-club player.
"That’s probably the fairytale way to do it, is to play all your footy at the one club,” Judd said on Friday.
“Obviously, changing clubs would be a pretty stressful sort of a thing on a player, so to be able to play your career at the one club and dedicate your time to them would be ideal.”
Judd, who said throughout last year that he wouldn’t look at re-signing until after the 2005 season, said it was easier for everybody if he signed now.
“There just didn’t seem any point in dragging out the inevitable and having to talk about it all year. I was keen to stay, and the club was keen to have me, so we thought we’d knock it on the head earlier.”
West Coast Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett and football manager Steve Woodhouse were in Melbourne this week finalising the deal with Judd’s manager Paul Connors.
The 21-year-old midfielder has played 68 games, not missing a match since debuting in Round 2, 2002. He was acting captain for several matches in 2004, while regular skipper Ben Cousins was sidelined through injury, and also selected in the All-Australian side.
In addition to his Brownlow win, Judd also won West Coast’s club champion award after Cousins had won it for the previous three seasons.