Alan Judge (footballer, born 1988)

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Alan Judge
Judge A1.jpg
Alan Judge playing for Notts County in 2012
Personal information
Full name Alan Christopher Judge[1]
Date of birth (1988-11-11) 11 November 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height 5 ft 6 ½ in (1.69 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder, winger
Club information
Current team
Number 18
Youth career
2005–2006 St Joseph's Boys
2006–2008 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2011 Blackburn Rovers 0 (0)
2009 Plymouth Argyle (loan) 17 (2)
2009–2010 Plymouth Argyle (loan) 37 (5)
2010–2011 Notts County (loan) 12 (0)
2011–2013 Notts County 89 (16)
2013–2014 Blackburn Rovers 11 (0)
2014 Brentford (loan) 22 (7)
2014– Brentford 37 (3)
National team
2005–2006 Republic of Ireland U18 3 (0)
2006–2007 Republic of Ireland U19 11 (1)
2007–2010 Republic of Ireland U21 13 (2)
2008 Republic of Ireland U23 4 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:09, 26 April 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

Alan Christopher Judge (born 11 November 1988) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Brentford. Judge began his career at Blackburn Rovers and returned to the club in 2013 after a two-and-a-half season spell with Notts County. He spent the second half of the 2013–14 season on loan at Brentford in League One, before signing for club permanently in the summer of 2014. Judge represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level.


Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Judge began his career at St. Joseph's National School in Dún Laoghaire, appearing for the school's Senior Boys team.[3][4] In 2006, Judge joined the academy at Premier League club Blackburn Rovers. He turned professional at 17 and was a regular in the reserve team during the 2007–08 season, scoring seven goals. He made his debut for the senior team as a substitute in the League Cup against Grimsby Town in August 2008 and his first start followed in the FA Cup victory versus Blyth Spartans in January 2009.[5] Judge featured regularly for the club during the 2009–10 pre-season, including friendlies against Italian giants AS Roma and Portuguese side CD Nacional. He signed a new contract to tie him to the club until June 2011. Towards the end of the 2009–10 season, Judge said he was open to offers for a permanent transfer after being told by Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce that he was surplus to requirements at the club.[6] Judge departed Blackburn in January 2011 after making only two appearances.[7]

Plymouth Argyle (loans)[edit]

Judge joined Championship club Plymouth Argyle on loan in January 2009, for the remainder of the 2008–09 season. He made his debut for the Pilgrims against Ipswich Town as a substitute at the end of January and went on to feature regularly in the starting XI for then manager Paul Sturrock's team.[8] He scored the first senior goal of his career against Burnley in March 2009 and followed up with a well-worked goal against Coventry City in April.[9] The season ended with Judge having made 17 appearances in all competitions.[5]

Judge rejoined Argyle on loan for the duration of the 2009–10 season.[10] He continued to feature regularly in the first-team and added another three goals to his tally, versus Derby County in August, Scunthorpe United in October and Doncaster Rovers in November, four days before his 21st birthday.[11] He scored his first brace in senior football with two goals in an impressive 4–1 win over Reading.[11] The Pilgrims were relegated from the Championship at the end of the season and Judge returned to Blackburn. He made 40 appearances and scored five goals during his second spell.[11] In 2013, the Plymouth Herald named Judge as Argyle's fifth best-ever loan signing.[12]

Notts County (loan & permanent signing)[edit]

On 31 August 2010, Judge signed a six-month loan deal with League One club Notts County.[13] His loan expired on 1 January 2011, but County re-signed the player on an initial one-month loan so he would be available for forthcoming matches whilst a permanent deal was finalised. He made 14 appearances during his loan spell and scored no goals.[14]

On 14 January 2011, Judge completed a permanent move to Notts County, signing a two-year deal with the club.[15][16] Just days after signing, Judge broke a metatarsal bone in his right foot in a match against Hartlepool United.[17] After a seven-week spell on the sidelines, Judge returned to action against Swindon. He scored the equaliser, before setting up Lee Hughes to give County the three points in a 2-1 victory.[18] He made 21 appearances and scored one goal during the 2010–11 season.[14] Judge scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season in a 3–1 away win against Chesterfield. His form saw him pick up consecutive player of the month awards for November and December respectively.[19] He believed that his good form was aided by Notts County manager Martin Allen, saying "I had a meeting with the gaffer and he was really encouraging. He said I need to play with a lot more confidence and he's giving me that."[20] Judge took his goal tally for the 2011–12 season to seven after his brace earned Notts County a 4–3 win at Wycombe Wanderers on 28 April.[21] He ended the season by scoring in a 4–1 victory over Colchester United.[22] Judge finished the season with 8 league goals and 13 assists.[23] Judge scooped both the Notts County Players' Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year awards for the 2011–12 season.[24]

Judge scored his first goal in the 2012–13 season in a 2–0 win over Bury on 1 September 2012.[25] He scored his second goal of the season and picked up the Man Of The Match award against Portsmouth in a 3–0 victory four games later.[26] He scored the only goal in 1–0 over Swindon Town on 24 November, allowing Notts to move back into the play-off positions.[27] In a 1–0 win over Carlisle United, Judge's fine solo effort in which he delicately chipped the ball over Mark Gillespie won the Sky Sports Goal Of The Day award. Judge's performances saw him named in the 2012–13 League One PFA Team of the Year.[28] He finished the season with 43 appearances and eight goals.[25] It was announced after a spell of two years at the club that Judge would not renew his contract. He expressed the main reason being his desire to play at a higher level, saying "there just comes a time when you think it’s right to move on and I’ve given everything to this club, it’s just a matter of a new challenge. I’m an ambitious person and I hope fully would like to try myself up another level if that comes.”[29]

Return to Blackburn Rovers[edit]

On 16 May 2013, it was revealed that Judge would be returning to Blackburn Rovers at the end of his contract with Notts County. Judge re-signed for Rovers, now in the Championship, on a three-year deal on 1 July 2013.[30] Judge scored his first Blackburn goal in a 3–3 League Cup first round shootout defeat to Carlisle United on 7 August 2013.[31] He made 12 appearances during the 2013–14 season, scoring one goal. Despite spending the second half of the 2013/14 season on loan, manager Gary Bowyer assured stated in late March 2013 that Judge has a future with the club.[32] It was reported in May 2014 that Bowyer had been impressed with Judge's exploits while on loan and that the door would be open for Judge to return to the fold at Blackburn.[33] Judge departed the club on 2 June 2014,[34] after making just 14 appearances and scoring one goal during four years with the club as a first team player.[7]

Brentford (loan & permanent signing)[edit]

On 8 January 2014, Judge joined League One side Brentford on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[35] He was awarded the number 18 shirt, vacated earlier in the season by Javi Venta. Judge's debut came in a 2–0 win over Port Vale on 11 January. He played 67 minutes before being substituted for Jake Reeves.[36] Judge scored his first Bees goal on his fourth appearance, netting the second in a 3–1 win over Bristol City on 28 January.[37] In a "majestic display", Judge bagged two goals from long-range in a 3–1 away victory over Crewe Alexandra on 15 February[38] and received recognition with a place in the Football League Team Of The Week.[39] His form prompted former Blackburn teammate and fellow Irishman Jonathan Douglas to suggest that Brentford sign Judge permanently.[40] After a slight dip in form, Judge got back to goalscoring ways with a brace in a 3–1 win over former club Notts County on 5 April.[41] On 18 April, Judge scored the penalty which saw Brentford beat Preston North End 1–0 at Griffin Park, to confirm the Bees' promotion to the Championship with three games to spare.[42] After the game, Judge said "when I came here I just wanted to play games and try to contribute in some way, so to score the goal that got us promoted is unbelievable. It was the best moment of my career".[43] He scored his seventh goal of the campaign in a 2–0 win over Stevenage on the final day.[44] He made 22 appearances during his spell with the Bees and returned to Blackburn after the season.[45][46] On 2 June 2014, Judge signed for Brentford permanently on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.[34]

Judge began the 2014/15 Championship season in a defensive midfield role alongside Jonathan Douglas, with Alex Pritchard having assumed his attacking role on the left side of midfield.[47] He scored his first goal of the season on his twentieth appearance, sliding home the opener in a 4–0 demolition of Wolverhampton Wanderers at Griffin Park on 29 November.[48] Judge missed his first league game of the season on 10 January 2015, having been forced off with a knee injury during the previous week's 2–0 FA Cup third round defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.[49][50] After over four months without a goal, Judge scored a free kick to help send the Bees on the way to a 4-1 victory over West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage on 3 April.[51] He followed up with another goal and a Football League Team of the Week performance in 2-0 win in the penultimate game of the season versus Reading,[50][52] which kept the club's playoff hopes alive.[53] A successful season ended in defeat to Middlesbrough in the playoff semi-finals, with Judge having made 41 appearances and scored three goals.[50]

International career[edit]

Judge represented the Republic of Ireland U18 side at the 2005 summer European Youth Olympic Festival in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. A 4–2 victory over Switzerland in the third-place playoff saw the U18s win the bronze medal.[54] Judge made his U19 debut in a 2–1 friendly win over Ukraine at Terryland Park on 15 August 2006.[55] He was a regular for the U19s during their qualifying campaign for the 2007 European U19 Championship and scored his first goal in a 2–1 qualifying win away to Macedonia on 6 October 2006.[56] Judge appeared in all three of the U18s' elite qualification games,[57] but despite victories over Bulgaria and Hungary, defeat to Germany saw the Germans qualify for the finals. Judge also represented the U19s in the 2007 Oporto Tournament in Portugal, but went home without any silverware.[58]

Judge made his U21 debut in a 3–2 friendly victory over Sweden on 12 October 2007, coming on as a substitute for Jim O'Brien after 68 minutes.[59] Judge made two appearances during the U21s unsuccessful 2009 UEFA U21 Championship qualifying campaign. He appeared in all of the qualifying games for the 2011 UEFA U21 Championship, with an early goal scored in a 1–1 draw with Georgia being the sole highlight of a campaign which saw the U21s finish bottom of their group. He won 13 U21 caps and scored two goals.[60] Judge made four appearances for the U23s in the 2008 Inter Continental Cup, but came away without the trophy.[60] Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill was in the stands at Griffin Park to watch Judge play for Brentford on 5 April 2014, though Judge played down the speculation about a call up to the senior side, saying "it's an ambition of mine to play for my country, but I think he (O'Neill) isn't looking at players below the Championship, which is fair enough".[61] Judge's performances for Brentford in the Championship in the first half of the 2014–15 season led former international Kevin Kilbane to talk up Judge's international chances.[62] Judge finally won his first full senior call up on 12 May 2015, when he was named in the provisional squad for two matches the following month,[63] but he was cut from the final 27-man squad.[64]

Style of play[edit]

Judge is known for his energy and his driving runs, as well as his ability to score spectacular long range goals. This has led to him being nicknamed "The Irish Messi" by players, fans and pundits.[65]

Personal life[edit]

Judge's father Dermot played for Shamrock Rovers and captained Bray Wanderers to success in the 1990 FAI Cup Final.[66][67]


As a player[edit]


Republic of Ireland U18

As an individual[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played on 15 May 2015.[7]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Blackburn Rovers 2008–09[5] Premier League 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2010–11[14] 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
Plymouth Argyle (loan) 2008–09[5] Championship 17 2 17 2
2009–10[11] 37 5 2 0 1 0 40 5
Notts County 2010–11[14] League One 19 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 21 1
2011–12[23] 46 8 4 1 0 0 1 0 51 9
2012–13[25] 38 8 3 0 1 0 0 0 42 8
Total 103 17 8 1 2 0 1 0 114 18
Blackburn Rovers 2013–14[45] Championship 11 0 0 0 1 1 12 1
Brentford 2013–14[45] League One 22 7 22 7
2014–15[50] Championship 37 3 1 0 1 0 2[a] 0 41 3
Total 59 10 1 0 1 0 2 0 63 10
Total 225 33 12 1 6 1 3 0 246 35
  1. ^ Appearances in Football League play-offs


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External links[edit]