Thursday night football proved a lot of things.
It showed that Carlton struggle to finish games off. It suggested that Fremantle aren’t quite there yet, despite the victory. It demonstrated that there’s a market for Thursday night football.
But, above all else, it proved that Chris Judd still has another 12 months in him, at the very least.
Nathan Fyfe’s last quarter heroics prevented the Blues from coming away from Perth with an improbable victory. However, there were a number of positives for Carlton fans to take out of the most heartbreaking of defeats, none more so than the form of Judd.
Prior to half-time, the dual Brownlow medallist was far and away the best player out on the park. Despite the conjecture of some suggesting he should either adapt or perish in footballing terms, the first half was nothing less than vintage Judd.
Along with his trademark propensity to rip the ball away from the stoppage and send the Blues forward, it looked as though the trademark dash of Judd was back.
The siren had barely gone at the start of the third quarter when Aaron Sandilands’ massive frame landed squarely on his ankle.
With his much-documented injury troubles to start the season, the narrative of Judd’s potential last game in Perth being marred by injury was on everyone’s lips.
However, the former captain trudged back on and – despite clearly limited – pushed himself from contest to contest in an attempt to get his side over the line.
Despite the Blues going down in the last minute of the game, whether justifiably or not, the game itself showed that Judd isn’t finished, not by a long way.
Come game’s end, Judd had 22 disposals, nine clearances, four inside 50s, a goal and a substantial amount of doubters proven wrong.
Throughout the whole year, the debate has been whether or not Judd will go around for one more year. All along, he’s said that he – and he alone – will make that decision.
And while every person with an interest in football will weigh in on the discussion (including yours truly), Judd will continue to ply his trade and give his all before coming to a conclusion.
If you asked basically anyone after the round five game against the Western Bulldogs, they would have said that Judd was just about done.
Having just come back from an Achilles injury, Judd injured his hamstring within minutes of being activated as sub: the demise of a champion was apparently transpiring for all to see.
And yet, since coming back (with the exception of a team-wide capitulation against the Swans), the Blues have been well-served by Judd, in considerably less game time than usual.
It’s no secret that Judd pushed his body to the absolute limit, particularly in the early days of his career. It is what will more than likely bring an illustrious career to an end, either in a matter of months or at the culmination of 2015.
However, despite all the queries and speculation, Judd has shown that he certainly has more to offer, both on the field and off it.
Judd isn’t finished. Nor is he a tagger, as some might suggest.
It’s his decision at the end of the day, but physically, Judd clearly has some left in the tank.