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Cripps in forward fray

Injury Update | JLT 2 Head of Football Andrew McKay brings you all the latest injury news heading into our second JLT match against Hawthorn.

BLUES supporters can expect to see gun midfielder Patrick Cripps pushing up the field in 2018, according to senior coach Brendon Bolton. 

The 22-year-old excited fans by booting two goals in the first quarter in a dominant performance during Carlton’s JLT Series hitout against St Kilda last week. 

“I wish I could have two of him (out there),” Bolton told SEN on Friday morning.

“By and large, he’ll play through the midfield this year because he’s a bull and now we do have some new guys (on the list) who will be able to roll through there too but we probably lack a little bit of experience there at this stage.

“We would probably like ‘Crippa’ to do 70-30 (midfield/forward time) this year if I could put a percentage on it but we’ll see.

“It was great to see him get forward last week. He’s a big man and sometimes you almost forget just how big he is.

“He can take a strong mark too, so if he can hit the scoreboard this year that’ll be great for us and him.” 

Last week, the 2015 John Nicholls Medallist revealed he had at times been working with the Blues’ forwards throughout the pre-season campaign. 

“I have just been working on it in the pre-season, a few of the midfielders have,’’ Cripps said.

“With my size you can get forward and if you jump at it you can clunk a few. I was lucky to get on the end of a few (last week) which is nice, especially early.

“It saves you rotating to the bench and you can go forward. I wouldn’t say you get a breather because playing forward is hard but you can use your size to your advantage.”

The Blues face Hawthorn in their final JLT Community Series hitout at UTAS Stadium on Saturday night, ahead of the Round 1 blockbuster against Richmond on Thursday 22 March.

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