CARLTON superstar Patrick Cripps is eager to reap the rewards of a trimmed-down physique when footy recommences later this month, having shed the kilos over the summer in the hope of improving his running ability.
Cripps and the club's high-performance boss Andrew Russell devised a specialised plan for the Blues co-captain last November in an attempt to improve his burst from stoppage, with the three-time best and fairest winner keen to see if it helps his outside game.
Having played at 96kgs last year, the tough inside ball-winner dropped around 2-3kgs throughout pre-season and retained his smaller frame during the game's recent shutdown period.
"What I am now was a goal over the pre-season," Cripps said on Monday morning.
"I haven't dropped weight since round one, it's probably been since last November-onwards that I've tried to make a conscious effort to change a few things up at training."
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Cripps ranked top-three in the competition for both clearances and contested possessions last year, finishing joint-third in the Brownlow Medal count after another stellar individual campaign.
However, dropping weight was a way in which the talented 25-year-old thought he could improve other facets of his game like his explosion from the contest and his outside running power.
"You always try and find little ways to get better," Cripps said.
"I'm always going to be strong as a taller midfielder, so it's just finding little ways to get marginal improvement.
"Who knows? I'll have to let my footy be the judge of that. But I feel good, I definitely feel better being a bit lighter and I'm covering the ground a fair bit better."
Cripps was among the best players on the ground throughout Carlton's round one loss to Richmond, amassing 31 disposals and 10 clearances.