Pies like the Beard
The Beard: Ben Hudson. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
JUST when it appeared ''The People's Beard'' had retired for good, it's time to think again.
Ben Hudson, the former Adelaide, Western Bulldog and Brisbane Lion, known for his beard, which was bestowed its own title by former teammate Bob Murphy, has the opportunity to extend his career with Collingwood.
The Magpies are keen for the 33-year-old ruckman to provide more support for frontline ruckman Darren Jolly and his battle-weary knee next season.
Hudson spent last season with the Lions, having originally retired at the Bulldogs after the 2011 campaign. But having announced he was shifting to the Sunshine Coast, he was asked by the Lions to provide back-up support, a move which proved fortuitous as an injury to Matthew Leuenberger meant he would play 18 matches in 2012.
He retired again once the Lions traded for young Melbourne ruckman Stefan Martin and has signed with the Magpies as a ruck coach, in particular to mentor Jarrod Witts and Brodie Grundy.
But the Magpies have sought permission from the AFL for the 161-game veteran to start pre-season training, with a view to taking him in the December 11 rookie draft.
Hudson was expected to arrive in Melbourne on Monday and is set to join in high-altitude training with his new teammates in Utah next week.
''Ben will work closely with our young ruckmen and we think, with his experience and example, he will be outstanding in that role,'' Magpies football director Geoff Walsh said.
''But we have also committed to selecting Ben in the rookie draft if he nominates because we think he can also offer strong support to Darren Jolly as the two young boys mature.
''Ben had a fine season for Brisbane this year and as we see it he should be able to help us in a number of ways. If he nominates, and is available, we will be picking him.''
Collingwood had already moved to ease Jolly's load by trading for West Coast forward-ruckman Quinten Lynch.