Hudson O'Keeffe (right) and Mitchell Edwards compete for the ball during the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys match between Vic Metro and Western Australia at Ikon Park on July 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON has signed young ruckman Hudson O'Keeffe to a rookie deal, just hours after Oleg Markov joined Collingwood having trained with the Blues this week.

O'Keeffe was Vic Metro's No.1 ruck in its championship winning side last year, with the Oakleigh Chargers product impressing with his mobility around the ground.

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Standing at more than two metres tall, O'Keeffe has joined the Blues as a rookie ahead of the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP) deadline next week and will provide valuable ruck depth behind Marc Pittonet, Tom De Koning and Alex Mirkov.

The Blues have also moved injured forward Sam Philp to their inactive list, meaning they still have a list spot available ahead of Wednesday's deadline.


Mature-aged half-back Alex Cincotta, who played for Carlton's VFL affiliate last year, has been training with the Blues and could come into consideration, especially given the season-ending injury to running defender Zac Williams.

Earlier on Friday, broke the news that Markov had signed a deal with Collingwood just 24 hours after he began training at the Blues.

The former Richmond and Gold Coast defender had spent the majority of his summer at the Pies but finished up last Friday after Craig McRae's side opted to fill its final list spot by recruiting 204cm ruckman Oscar Steene.

Markov then began training at Carlton on Thursday but when Magpies defender Charlie Dean was moved to the inactive list due to his latest foot injury, the Pies swooped and offered Markov a rookie deal.

Oleg Markov in action for Gold Coast against Brisbane in round six, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

O'Keeffe averaged nine disposals and 22 hitouts across 11 matches in the NAB League for Oakleigh last year and recorded an impressive time of 2.96 seconds for the 20m sprint at the Victorian draft combine.

"Hudson impressed us with his ability to not only win hitouts, but also get the ball away effectively from stoppages through his physicality and competitiveness – all strengths we think will add to an exciting mix in our rucks," Carlton list boss Nick Austin said.

"Hudson will work closely with our ruck coach Matthew Kreuzer as he gets to work, building and improving his ruck craft.

"We’re also keen to make him a more well-rounded player which will come over time, so we'll invest in his development and we’re thrilled to have him as part of the Blues."

O’Keeffe is the 12th player to be signed during the SSP period this summer.

Players signed during the SSP (Dec 5 to Feb 15)

Conor McKenna - Brisbane
Oskar Baker - Western Bulldogs
Liam Shiels - North Melbourne
Jed Anderson - Gold Coast
Tyler Brown - Adelaide
Liam Stocker - St Kilda
Mark Keane - Adelaide
Darragh Joyce - Brisbane
Brodie McLaughlin - Gold Coast
Oscar Steene - Collingwood
Oleg Markov - Collingwood
Hudson O'Keeffe - Carlton