Carlton captain Patrick Cripps has sent a warning to the rest of the competition, claiming that he has "had enough time off" after his Brownlow Medal-winning season.
The 27-year-old ascended to the game's summit, earning league best and fairest honours in September after a season spent influencing contests at will.
Across the course of the 2022 season, Cripps returned to his dominant best, shrugging off past shoulder and back complaints to rack up averages of 28.1 disposals and 7.6 clearances per week.
Though a debut finals appearance remained agonisingly off the cards, the Western Australian isn't leaving anything to chance heading into summer, laying an ominous marker for his rivals.
"Everyone starts back (training) on the 21st (of November), in terms of the young boys. I'll start up with them, I've had enough time off," Cripps told 3AW.
"I've got itchy feet at the moment, so I'll try and smash out the first month pre-chrissy. I'm big on the (fact that) if you get yourself right by chrissy, it gives yourself a really good platform to attack January, which is an important month."
While using his post-Brownlow period to "reflect" and "refresh", Cripps will be looking to attack the 2023 season with a refueled motivation and an entrenched mindset after missing the eight by 0.6 of a percentage point.
"Footy's got a way of teaching you lessons, and we got taught a couple of lessons the hard way (last season)," Cripps added.
"You can either shy away from those and put your head under the pillow, or you can address them and find ways to train them and put yourself in that position during the pre-season.
"Soon enough, we'll be playing games again and we want to be in those moments, we want to thrive in those moments and you want to play in the biggest games possible."
Since joining the Princes Park side with the 13th selection of the 2013 draft, Cripps has carved out a place among the club's giants, earning a quartet of Nicholls Medals, three All-Australian blazers and a league MVP to go with his Brownlow.