A CLEAR vision for the future of the Carlton Football Club.

Leading the way alongside Sam Docherty, Patrick Cripps is ready for his club to take the next step.

Crowned a three-time John Nicholls Medallist on Friday night, Cripps left supporters under no illusions when it came to the expectations of the co-captain.

“There’s been a lot of talk around in the media, but we know we’re building something special and we’re really good mates,” Cripps said on Carlton’s night of nights.

“We’re so optimistic of where we’re going. Nothing is a given right — we know where we want to get to.

“It sucks watching finals and I reckon we’re ready to have a crack at it.

“We know with the next six weeks leading into pre-season and pre-season itself, there’s a lot of hard work to do and it won’t just happen. I know as a group we’re really determined to make it happen.”

Cripps took on the mantle of co-captain alongside Sam Docherty 12 months ago, with the 2019 campaign ultimately marking a season of growth for the Blues.

Speaking on the leadership responsibilities, Cripps thanked his counterpart for his off-field presence while recovering from an ACL injury.

“Everyone was asking me throughout the year ‘It must have been hard leading by yourself out there’,” he said.

“But leadership is probably 90 per cent off-field.

“Myself and ‘Doc’ work really closely together and we might be different in certain ways, but we have a high level of respect for each other and what we both want for the footy club.”

While Cripps appeared to take the increased responsibility in his stride, he acknowledges that there is work to be done to improve on 2019’s result.

Looking forward, Cripps was optimistic that the side’s resolve from the second half of the year will hold his side in good stead heading into 2020.

“Obviously it was a tough start to the year: to be honest, I couldn’t be prouder of the group and the whole Club in general,” he said.

“I think in testing times and especially what we went through in the middle part of the year, the leadership from the board down [shone through].

“To finish the year with so much optimism and the boys just having fun again was so good to see.”