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Blues choose Cripps

CFC TV: Patrick Cripps Highlights Watch some highlights of pick 13 Patrick Cripps

Carlton’s recruiters have literally crossed the continent to land an All-Australian player with its first selection in the 2013 AFL National Draft, the inside midfielder, Patrick Cripps.

In taking Cripps with lucky pick 13 overall, the Carlton National recruiting Manager Shane Rogers and his team of talent spotters obviously liked what they saw in this year’s Under 18 Championships when Cripps impressed, particularly in the final round against South Australia.

Cripps hails from Northampton, a service town to the micronation the Principality of Hutt River, 52 kilometres north of Geraldton in the mid-west region of Western Australia.

But tonight, the Curtin University first-year agribusiness student was with family and friends in the Perth suburb of Manning when he saw and heard Carlton’s National Recruiting Manager Shane 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,” Cripps said.

“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.”

In Cripps, there is a clear football bloodline. Cripps’s father Brad is a first cousin of West Coast’s dual premiership wingman the late Chris Mainwaring (who reigned supreme through the Michael Malthouse years) and his third cousin is the former St Kilda (now Eagles) half-forward Jamie Cripps,

Now, at Carlton, Cripps has a rare chance to make his own indelible mark, as the club closes in on the 150th anniversary of its founding.

“I’ve followed the AFL pretty closely and I know that Carlton has such a proud tradition and history,” he said.

“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.”

Born in the Carlton Premiership year of 1995, the 18 year-old Cripps has another exam to negotiate on Monday and then expects to make the trek across the Nullabor to Visy Park.

Asked what he felt he could bring to the Carlton teams of 2013 and beyond, Cripps responded: “I pride myself on winning contested ball and my clearance work with quick, clean hands and decision-making”.

“(And) as a person I’m pretty easy-going but I feel like I’m a leader. I just want to get over there and win the respect of the players,” he said.