WHEN it comes to what Patrick Cripps is most looking forward to in 2020, he's got a number of answers.
The development of his emerging midfield mates. The electricity of the Carlton crowd. The chance to build on a "first class" pre-season.
The first game leading alongside his co-captain.
The journeys of Cripps and Sam Docherty are intrinsically linked: they arrived at Ikon Park in the same year, they were named as co-captains together, they're Carlton's last two All Australians.
After the tough ride Docherty has endured in recent seasons, Cripps said he couldn't wait for the enjoyment factor to return for his counterpart in 2020.
"I'm really excited to see the smile on his face in Round 1," Cripps told Carlton Media.
"I'm pretty excited to get 'Doc' back: having him out there playing is going to be really exciting for both the Club and the boys.
"I've got a really close relationship with him and he's worked bloody hard. We try and pick each others' brains to get the best out of the group."
The last time the two close mates played alongside one another was in Round 16, 2017: come Round 1, it'll be 984 days since they were on-ground teammates. It'll also be the first time the duo lead the Club on the ground as co-captains.
There's no doubt in Cripps' mind that the defensive general will get back to the form he showed before going down with injury.
"I can't wait to see him playing really good footy again," Cripps said.
"Two years is a long time out of footy. The amount that he has helped the group off-field in the last two years has been huge.
"[I't'll be great] to see him run out and lead the boys out, especially after the last two years which have been tough."