Zac Fisher arrived at Carlton in 2016 from Western Australia, three years after 2019 Leigh Matthews Trophy winner Patrick Cripps. The pair formed a close friendship, with the duo now living together. ‘Fish’ shares his experiences and insights into Patrick Cripps, in an exclusive AFLPlayers.com.au column.
Coming over from WA, ‘Crippa’ made the start to my career really easy.
He’d been at Carlton for three years before I arrived, after joining the club with pick No.13 in the 2013 Draft.
As a young midfielder he was someone I really looked up to. I wanted to follow what he was doing and learn off him; after all he is a contested bull!
Pat’s a well-loved member of Carlton and he’s the same person in real life as what you see in the media. He’s your typical country lad and his family are the same.
He’s polite, considerate and easy to talk to – it’s an element that’s helped him become a leader of our club.
With what he’s been able to achieve in his career so far, you forget how young he is.
At only 24, he was elevated to co-captain of our club and has become one of the elite midfielders of the competition.
In the past 24 months, Pat has developed significantly as a footballer and in the leadership space.
He’s gone from being an elite player on the field to an elite player with quality leadership skills.
As a leader you face challenges when the team isn’t performing but supported by ‘Doc’ (co-captain Sam Docherty), Pat has taken everything in his stride this year.
We’re a young club but you couldn’t ask for much more from him as a player and leader – he’s hands on and he’s been able to bring us along with him this season.
For such a talented footballer, Pat struggles when it comes to the surf and jumping on a wave.
He took it up about a year ago, but there hasn’t been much improvement!
He’s out on the water once or twice a week but it’s not the greatest sight.
His frame doesn’t help him though!
He’s a bit of a Dorito – broad shoulders and small legs – and that isn’t quite conducive to being on a surfboard.
Pat’s a great housemate and friend so it’s pretty hard to fault him. We make a good team.
As I’m sure any of our other Carlton teammates can attest to, he’s also one of the toughest competitors in the AFL.
He’s not the greatest runner, and I think he knows that, but he’s worked on his weaknesses and has focused on his strengths.
Pat works incredibly hard on other areas of his game to get himself to the next level and it’s no surprise he’s been voted the Players’ MVP.
It’s a privilege to play alongside him – you know what you’re going to get and that he’ll put his body on the line for the betterment of his teammates.
Leigh Matthews Trophy for the Most Valuable Player
Patrick Cripps – 832
Tim Kelly – 519
Lachie Neale – 481
Brodie Grundy – 355
Nathan Fyfe – 303