CHRIS Judd has been named Carlton captain for 2008, and Nick Stevens will act as his deputy.
The club's prize recruit from West Coast, who is still to play a game for the Blues, was announced as skipper at a press conference at MC Labour Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Judd has been mooted as Carlton’s next captain since the Blues signed him in a highly-publicised deal in October last year. But he was no certainty for the job, given his recent arrival and the groin injury that has kept him from competitive training.
“The opportunity is there now and I’d be silly to walk away from it,” Judd said. “It’s an interesting situation because I’m new to the club.”
The 24-year-old's vice captain will be rejuvenated midfielder Stevens, who appears to have recovered from a neck injury which kept him out for the majority of 2007.
Stevens, 28, said he would have loved to have been chosen for the captaincy.
“Yeah, there is a bit of disappointment there,” he said. “At least I can say I lost it to Juddy.”
Carlton vice-president Stephen Kernahan said Judd had already proved his leadership credentials in his four months at the club.
“Chris has demonstrated tremendous leadership qualities throughout the pre-season period, and the board concurred with the match committee’s view that he, together with Nick Stevens as vice-captain, was best placed to lead our young playing group into the future,” Kernahan said.
“Nick has been a very loyal leader of the playing group since joining Carlton in 2004 and is well respected by all the players."
Judd still hasn't done any competitive training after undergoing groin surgery in the off-season, but the club hopes he will be available for round one of the home and away season with a brief pre-season appearance also possible.
More to come.