A WELCOME SHAKE-UP
QThe league introduced the first incarnation of a draft system in 1981. How did that change your job instead of recruiting through zones?
AWe had metro and country zones from the 1960s all through until that. And from the 12 sides we had, only six teams won a premiership in that period. Things needed to change because those bottom sides, you either had a good zone or a bad zone in terms of Melbourne areas and country Victoria. When the under-19s club competition went out and the TAC Cup came in as well, that changed things and how we went about it.
QYour move from Collingwood to Essendon made a few headlines in 2014. Judkins left the Magpies after allegedly passing on information about players to Essendon while still at Collingwood. How do you reflect on that now?
AEssendon was going through their draft restrictions because of the drugs stuff that happened a few years ago and they asked for some help at the bottom of the draft. The press wrote it up and it was bulls***. Every person I knew in footy rang me and said ‘you would not have done that’, and they were right. The president and CEO of Essendon wanted proof that I was still up to recruiting even though I was getting on in age and I did some examples of work and compared a few AFL lists. Collingwood said I was undermining them but we never spoke about it. It was disappointing the way it played out.