A BIG one.

Patrick Cripps admits the 200-game milestone he'll reach on Saturday is a time to reflect on all he's achieved in the AFL so far – but assures he has plenty left to give.

Having been a leader his whole career, Cripps couldn't overstate his intention to make the people around him better, both as players and as individuals, and thanked all those along his journey who got him to where he is today.

Here's what he had to say.

On playing his 200th game:

"Milestones always make you reflect. It’s weird, I feel like at 100 games you feel like you’re an AFL player, but 200 is a really big milestone. It takes a body of work to get there, so it’s been 11 years and it’s something I’m really proud of.

"I’ve had a lot of support along the way—not only from the Club but from family and friends. I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It’s going to be an exciting game, but I feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank, so it’s nice to celebrate, but it always makes you eager to keep going."


On the change in the Club since midway last year:

"There’s a lot of work that goes in before that time. At the end of the review, there was a big shift in us as players, driving the culture we want, and then 'Vossy' coming in and driving really high standards.

"Since then, we started 2022 with a bang, and we got a lot of confidence and belief from that. We hit a few tricky parts, but I feel like adversity makes you learn a lot about yourself, and we learned a lot about ourselves as a group.

"In the middle part of the year, we got together and really tried to find what we were as a group and what we wanted to value that was completely in our control. We were able to do that, and then when you start getting results, belief and confidence keep building.

"We feel like from that point to now, that’s continued to build, and we’ve got a clearer feel and view of what our identity is. We’re in a position now where we have a lot of guys that work hard and play a really selfless brand of footy. It’s just trying to keep evolving and keep growing in that space."

On individual awards vs. team success:

"Individual stuff is a reward for hard work, but I think if you talk to any AFL player, the reward and fulfilment come from team success. I listened to Scott Pendlebury talk last year. He’s had a lot of individual awards, but the feeling you get from winning a Premiership as a group, you can’t match that, and that’s what every AFL player dreams of doing.

"You can sometimes get so focused on your goal and ambition—which is great to have; you’ve got to dream big—but we’re just focused on right now, being really present and enjoying the journey.

"A lot of us guys have been together for a long time now, and we’ve gone through some really dark times. To be in the position we’re in now, we really want to enjoy it and keep levelling up, still having those ambitions, but if we get it right now, it’ll lead us to the next stages."

On the arrival of Koda:

"It’s definitely helped me switch off from footy. I love hanging out with [Koda]. She’s giving a fair bit back now; she’s starting to smile a lot. It’s amazing, those little moments that you don’t really think about until you have a kid, and then once you have one, it’s pretty special. I’m really enjoying it. She’s been great, and 'Mon' is doing a great job as well."

On his development as a player:

"You’re always looking for ways to get better, and I feel like we’ve got a really stable group. I have a lot of trust in guys who are going to play a high-level role. You can then expand certain parts of your game, and I feel like I’m trying to develop my outside game a bit more, get on the end of some more handball receives, and use my power more than I did in the past.

"When you play in a team that has played together for a while, you don’t need to overreach. I’m really clear on my role and what I have to do for the side, and that’s just what I’ve been doing lately. It also helps when you start winning. Winning and being part of a successful, winning environment also helps your own form. We’ve got a lot of guys playing with confidence and belief."

On why he loves playing AFL:

"I always dreamed of playing AFL, and I had this ambition to get there. I see little kids now, and I remember when I was their age like it was yesterday. Now I’m living my dream, and I’m in the position to inspire kids like other players inspired me when I was a kid.

"I don’t take that for granted. I feel like the way we play as players, the passion and the way we play can have a big impact on those you don’t know, and that’s pretty special."


On the best moment of his career so far:

"Definitely playing in the finals series last year was the best. Everyone talks about the individual stuff as a reward for hard work, but the team stuff and what you get—even though we didn’t achieve the end goal—sometimes you have to celebrate the games you made.

"Where we came from as a group and where we’re going, that finals experience and winning a couple of big finals at the ‘G was special. That exposure is going to be big for us going forward. Once you get a taste of it, you want it so bad. We’re in the now, and hopefully, as we build to the end of the year, we’re in those moments again."

On his support system:

"I’ve got a whole army coming over: friends and family, extended family. I’ve got some great people in my corner who have been there since I was a young fella. I’m really looking forward to the game. Hopefully, we can get the win, and I can enjoy the moment with them and thank them for being a part of it."


On the Giants game:

"Every team has great midfielders, and that was no different for us against the Giants. They got the better of us inside.

"We feel like with our body of work, we know what makes us a really good side, and when you’re slightly off, what can happen. But also, a lot of credit goes to the Giants; they played a really high-pressure brand of footy.

"We didn’t play our best footy. Take your lessons, follow up on why we were a bit off, and look forward to next week. We won’t be dictated by one result. We’re determined to bounce back this week, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in what our best looks like."