IT’S 10 years tomorrow since the then National Recruiting Manager Shane Rogers called the name of a fresh-faced kid from Northampton called Patrick Cripps with Carlton’s first selection at the 2013 National Draft.
In taking Cripps with lucky pick No.13 overall, Rogers and his network of talent spotters obviously liked what they saw when Cripps impressed for the Western Australian team (of which Blake Acres was also a member) in the Under-18 Championships earlier that year.
Though Northampton is a service town to the micronation Principality of Hutt River, 52 kilometres north of Geraldton in the mid-west region of Western Australia, Cripps was with family and friends in the Perth suburb of Manning on the night he saw and heard Rogers call his name on Fox Footy.
“I just got out of an exam, so it’s been a pretty full-on day. But I’m absolutely stoked,” said Cripps, then a first-year agribusiness student at Curtin University.
“I was pretty hopeful, but obviously I didn’t want to get too confident because you never know what happens. But I’m absolutely thrilled to be picked by the Blues. Obviously I’ve planned for this day and I can’t wait to get over there and get into it.
“I’ve followed the AFL pretty closely and I know that Carlton has such a proud tradition and history. I have always liked the Blues and I’m just so rapt to be given an opportunity at one of the League’s biggest clubs.”
Boasting a real football pedigree (his father Brad is a first cousin of West Coast’s dual premiership wingman the late Chris Mainwaring and his third cousin is the former St Kilda (now Eagles) half-forward Jamie Cripps), Cripps prophetically declared what he could bring to Carlton as a senior AFL footballer in 2014 and beyond.
"To get two bites of the cherry, we're really excited about that . . . we'll take the best available."— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 19, 2023
It's draft day! National Recruiting Manager Mick Agresta gives plenty of insight into what we can expect tonight.
“I pride myself on winning contested ball and my clearance work with quick, clean hands and decision-making,” he said at the time.
“As a person I’m pretty easygoing, but I feel like I’m a leader. I just want to get over there and win the respect of the players.”
Cripps, as Carlton senior player No.1151, completed his debut in the Round 4 match of 2014 against Melbourne on the MCG. He was 19 years and 25 days old when he followed Marc Murphy down the race.
Fast forward 10 years, and at the time of writing, Cripps has etched himself into Carlton lore, as a 183-game Brownlow Medallist, four-time John Nicholls Medallist and club captain.