PATRICK Cripps remembers the day he walked into Ikon Park like it was yesterday.
Six years at Carlton has flown by for the star midfielder and co-captain as he approaches his 100th game against St Kilda this Saturday.
Speaking to media on Tuesday morning, Cripps reflected on the journey so far — from his first days at the club to today.
“I remember the day I go drafted, I had three days back and then I was on a plane,” Cripps said.
“I still remember the first bike session. Day one I went in and thought ‘geez, it’s a bit harder than what I thought’.”
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Arriving at Carlton the No. 13 pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, Cripps has gone from strength to strength in his first 100 outings.
The two-time John Nicholls Medallist and 2018 All-Australian midfielder has reached new heights in 2019 in his first season as co-captain.
“It does go quick though: this is my sixth year at the Club now and I still remember my first year really clearly,” he said.
“But when you’re in the football industry where it’s so structured and there’s a lot of routine, time does fly.”
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Missing only two games in 2019, Cripps has garnered plenty of praise for his midfield efforts – he is currently averaging 8.4 clearances and 17 contested possessions a match.
But the Blues skipper stopped short of saying he was in career-best form, believing his best football is still ahead of him.
“I think my best footy is ahead of me and I think as a team, our best footy is really ahead of us too,” he said.
“I think that just combined with the natural growth of our team, I think we’ve got a lot of young talent and as players we’ve got to play together.
“So your performance is only going to improve when you play together for a long time and you’ve got a lot of talented players around you.”