Carlton recruit Patrick Cripps unfazed by comparisons to champion Greg Williams

26 November 2013 12:28 AM

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Carlton recruit Patrick Cripps unfazed by comparisons to champion Greg Williams

IMAGINE being a teenager arriving at an AFL club and being instantly compared to a revered dual Brownlow medallist.

That's the scrutiny applied to Carlton recruit Patrick Cripps when he started down the league footballer pathway today.

Blues recruiting manager Shane Rogers had already bestowed "The Extractor'' as Cripps' moniker and compared the young West Australian to midfield ball-magnet Greg Williams.

"That's what we've called him all year, he's a ball extractor," Rogers told the club website.

"He's got a Diesel Williams-like brain, so he can see things out the side of his eyes at the tightest angle. His strength is that he can win the clearances and feed the ball out."

Cripps, whose cousin Jamie plays with West Coast, is already wise enough to know that he can't change perceptions just yet, so he simply played along with the banter.

"Obviously, it's only a nickname, I suppose it has come from my game style. I like to get in there and get it out. Extractor is a term you can use, yeah," Cripps said.

"I don't know much about him (Williams) because, obviously, I was pretty young back when he played. From what I've heard, he was a sensational player and for my game style to be compared to anything like him is an honour.

Cripps, an All-Australian at under-18 level, has already tapped into the family knowledge with his Eagles' cousin explaining what to expect during pre-season training.

"He was actually over the night I got drafted. I had a good chat to him about expectations as an AFL player, the training requirements and the sacrifices you have to make. In terms of preparing for the draft, he helped me out a lot,'' he said.

South Australian Cameron Giles - the Blues' second pick at No. 39 - was the subject of comparisons too, as Rogers likening the rebounding defender to Hawthorn's Norm Smith medallist Brian Lake.

"Obviously, he's a pretty good player to emulate with his spoiling pressure and he takes a lot of risks,'' Giles said.

This was the first season the 195cm South Australian had played in defence for Woodville-West Torrens after being groomed as a forward in his junior days.

Giles will take his lead from established Blues defenders Michael Jamison and Lachie Henderson.

"I'll probably hang off them a bit and try to pick their brains about defensive work. Can't wait to learn under them,'' he said.

"It (playing in the backline) has been a learning experience and versatility is a good asset for my game. Hopefully, there's exciting times to come.

The Blues have bolstered the midfield stocks with another hard nut, Kyabram's Nick Holman.

Holman, a solidly built midfielder from the Murray Bushrangers, arrives with a reputation for winning the contested ball and applying fierce tackling pressure.

"I just love the hard ball and contested footy. That's what I want to bring to the club,'' he said.


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