Western Bulldogs FC
Born: 24 February 1979
Junior Club: N/A
Senior Club: University of Queensland / Mt.Gravatt
Draft Details: Selection #58 (4th round) 2003 National Draft, Traded to Western Bulldogs 2007 National Draft
AFL Debut: Adelaide v Fremantle, Subiaco, 11 April, 2004 (Rd 3);
Jumper Number: 15
AT A GLANCE: Is something of an anonymous Queenslander because he was drafted not from Queensland but from the VFL. But he is a Gold Coaster even though he never played football at any serious level on the tourist strip. Was a late convert from basketball and didn’t play football until 2000 when he was a 21-year-old driving to Brisbane to attend university. He played State Association football with the University of Queensland Bulldogs that year before his Bulldogs coach Quentin Johnson, a former Western Districts (AFLQ) star and assistant-coach of Wests’ 1996 AFLQ premiership side, sent him in 2001 to Mt.Gravatt, coached by Danny Craven, who had been coach of the Wests’ premiership side.
So began a meteoric rise up the football tree. He shared the Vultures B&F in 2001, and in 2002 was a key member of the club’s first AFLQ premiership side and represented Queensland with distinction against WA in Perth. Spurred on by the AFL dream, he chose to try his luck with VFL club Werribee in 2003. It worked and he was a mature age draftee by the Adelaide Crows at No.58 in the 2003 National Draft. He made his AFL debut in round 3 of 2004, playing 13 games in his first season and being an emergency nine times. In 2005 he played every game until a serious knee injury in round 20 saw him miss the entire 2006 AFL season, although he did return with North Adelaide in the SANFL late in the year.
A fiercely competitive tap ruckman who is not only good around the ground but also at ground level, he quickly got back to his best in 2007 and played every game but one, which he missed through a club disciplinary suspension. Along the way he posted his 50th AFL game and made his finals debut as the Crows were eliminated from the premiership race in week 1 of the finals He finished 6th in the Crows B&F behind Simon Goodwin, Scott Thompson, Tyson Edwards and Ben Rutten and asked to be rewarded with a three-year contract to consolidate his future.
The Crows would give him only two years so he engineered a trade to the Western Bulldogs. It was a complicated deal. The Dogs traded pick No.22 to West Coast for pick No.30 and No.35 and then on-traded pick No.30 and No.38 for Hudson and pick No.43. Hudson didn’t mind. He had a new home and his thee-year contract, and has been a most consistent and valuable contributor at the Whitten Oval. In 2008 he played 23 games, including three finals, to break into the Queensland Team of the Year, and added a further 24 games, three finals and a second Team of the Year selection in ’0. He registered his 100th AFL game when the Dogs lost to eventual premiers Geelong by 14 points in the qualifying final at the MCG.