CARLTON’S No.1 draft pick Matthew Kreuzer is set to debut against Port Adelaide this weekend, as the club begins its defence of its NAB Cup title. 

“[Kreuzer] is a big chance,” assistant coach Brett Montgomery said, after the Blues trained at MC Labour Park on Wednesday afternoon.

“We need his height and flexibility. He’s certainly a class act so I wouldn’t see how he wouldn’t play, but again we need to get through today and see how we structure up.”

Kreuzer played in the ruck and in key positions at under-18 level, and Montgomery confirmed he was likely to play in the ruck for the Blues.

“When you’re 200cm tall, I reckon you’re a fair chance to get a run in the ruck,” Montgomery said.

“I think we’ve got other guys who need to shoulder the load in the ruck full-time but certainly his expertise in the ruck is of great value to us so we wouldn’t let that pass.”

Although he wouldn’t reveal names, Montgomery says other young Blues will debut this weekend.

“I would anticipate maybe one, two, three at the absolute most,” he said.

“It’s probably not about our new players in this year, we’ve probably got young guys over the last two years that have come into the place that haven’t been tried either. We’ve probably got three years worth of guys that we need to look at.”

As for the club’s most prized recruit, Chris Judd, he’s “on track and the club are very happy with the way he’s going”, Montgomery said.

A front-runner for the Carlton captaincy, Judd won’t play on the weekend, and Montgomery said his absence presented a chance for other candidates to show their worth.

“I think it gives them a special opportunity, while Chris isn’t playing, to put their best foot forward and display what leadership they’ve got. But when it comes down to it, it will be a group decision about a whole range of guys and what they bring.

“The fact that [Judd] had the opportunity to captain a club and a premiership club would give him a fair chance, but in saying that, two or three or five other guys in the leadership group have done their chances no harm over the last month.”

As for the Blues’ NAB Cup ambitions, Montgomery says the club’s determination to focus on the season proper won’t ruin its chances at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

“A healthy culture to build is a side that wants to win every time they go out there,” he said.

“If we can play younger players keeping that theme in mind, fantastic, but we’re certainly not going to get caught up in ‘win at all costs’.”