x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Teammates fail to follow the example of Judd

There is no more professional or respected footballer and leader in the Australian Football League than the Carlton captain Chris Judd.

There is no more professional or respected footballer and leader in the Australian Football League than the Carlton captain Chris Judd. But his shining example has not been rubbing off on his Blues charges, who have been behaving off the field in a manner that would leave Judd tearing out what little hair he has left. He would have been furious at the alcohol-fuelled boat trip on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay last weekend, reportedly attended by most players, which left the reputation of the club in tatters.

A 19-year-old Blues rookie was in a state of physical disrepair when picked up by his parents at the end of the trip. That was just the start. High-profile players Ryan Houlihan and Andrew Walker were fined Aus$5,000 (Dh16,212) each for a fight that night in the foyer of the Crown Promenade hotel where Houlihan was staying with his partner. He was there in only his underwear when staff became involved and police were called.

The club also fined the pair Aus$5,000 each. Blues' goal kicker Eddie Betts was also fined for being arrested in a drunken state and locked up by police in the city about 4am on Sunday morning. Carlton have shown they can go the hard yards. The Blues rid themselves of their serial offender Brendan Fevola after his drunken antics at the Brownlow Medal award ceremony, and suspended Betts, Jeff Garlett and the since departed Cameron Cloke after they arrived late to a training session.

As many defenders from his playing days could tell you, club president Stephen Kernahan, the former Carlton and Glenelg player, is not a man to shirk the issue, and he is due to address the players when they return from holidays on January 4. pstafford@thenational.ae