“THE FOUNDATION has been set.”

From one Carlton leader to a few others, Patrick Cripps couldn’t be happier with Thursday morning’s news that CEO Brian Cook and AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss have extended their tenures at IKON Park.

Announced in front of players and staff alike on Thursday, it was confirmed that Cook would remain at IKON Park until at least the end of 2025, while Voss will continue for at least another three seasons.

It was a sign of the newfound stability on Royal Parade — a stability which Cripps admits he hasn’t previously felt across his decade-long stint at the football club so far. 

Speaking to Carlton Media, the captain said it was a show of faith in the individuals to the Club, and vice versa.


“Getting it done before the season is huge. It removes any distractions for us as a group and as a club: it’s reward for the effort they’ve put in,” Cripps said.

“They came at a tricky time, and the word to describe what they’ve provided is stability. They’ve driven a standard and a culture that they both want, and through their guidance, support and mentorship, they’ve provided an environment where we all love coming to work.

“We’re working hard and we’re having fun. ‘Vossy’ touched on it, we’re now chasing excellence — that’s the platform they’ve built.”


When he walked into the doors at the end of 2021, Voss touched on the importance of the captain-coach dynamic, seeking out Cripps from the start and striking up a crucial partnership from the outset. 

In Voss’ time at the Club, Cripps has achieved the personal glory of the 2022 Brownlow Medal, while the duo helped lead the team out of what seemed to be an all-too-familiar situation for a memorable surge to a preliminary final in 2023.

Above everything, Cripps said he views Voss as “a mentor”, not only for what he achieved as a captain in his playing days but for what he’s brought now to the Navy Blues.

“He’s great in supporting you, building confidence and belief in you as a player - I speak for a lot of the boys here - and as a leader as well. Through that, he always challenges you to grow and be better, and that’s what I really like.

“He’s really honest, up front and tells it how it is. We try and catch up weekly to not only bounce ideas off each other, but how we can set the environment for the group and the energy throughout the week.

“He’s been awesome. We’re all pumped.”

When Cripps speaks of it being a key indicator of a stability at the football club he hasn’t felt before, there’s one stat that makes that clear as day: Voss’ extension as AFL Senior Coach is the first of the sort that Cripps has experience in his time at IKON Park, as pointed out to him by General Manager of Football Brad Lloyd.

What that has provided the playing group - in Cripps’ view - is the chance to launch off a foundation which hasn’t normally been there.

“We feel like in the last two years especially, we’ve built a culture and a platform where people love coming to work and can be themselves, as well as chasing excellence. This is the first pre-season I’ve come into where it’s felt like it’s flowed on from last year.

“The foundation has been set, and because of that, we hit the ground running straight away. We feel like we’ve levelled up in our game now.

“One thing as a playing group that we’re really clear on are our roles and what our style is — we go into the year not guessing what it is, we know. It gives you a lot of confidence and belief that your best can stack up.

“I’m pumped that he’s signed on: we know we’ve got a good platform to get after the next three years.”