Player Watch #5 Christian Petracca - Dominating on ball, and on contracts - resigned until 2022

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Crusty Demon

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Been banging on about how we haven't had a top 10 player in the league who wasn't a ruck in my life. By the end of this year we might have one.
Curious to know who you think is above him atm?

Neale, Martin, Greene, Fyfe, Cripps, Bont, Danger, Moore, Andrews, Lynch, Walters, Macrae?

Some have questioned his consistency, but i feel he was super consistent last season, and stats show he wasn't that far away from AA contention. It's simy he now has a tank and opportunity in the midfield. His confidence is exactly like the elite superstars in that he just feels like he can slip any tackle and wants the ball in hand. The fact he's leading score involvements in the comp puts him now up with those I've listed above, who IMO are the best players in the comp. Probably has to play like this for an extended time, but he's in Top 10 atm IMO..
 

00Stinger

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Curious to know who you think is above him atm?

Neale, Martin, Greene, Fyfe, Cripps, Bont, Danger, Moore, Andrews, Lynch, Walters, Macrae?

Some have questioned his consistency, but i feel he was super consistent last season, and stats show he wasn't that far away from AA contention. It's simy he now has a tank and opportunity in the midfield. His confidence is exactly like the elite superstars in that he just feels like he can slip any tackle and wants the ball in hand. The fact he's leading score involvements in the comp puts him now up with those I've listed above, who IMO are the best players in the comp. Probably has to play like this for an extended time, but he's in Top 10 atm IMO..
Macrae is a stat padder, walters isn't in the top 20, ditto Lynch, Andrews and Moore
 

Topkent

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Curious to know who you think is above him atm?

Neale, Martin, Greene, Fyfe, Cripps, Bont, Danger, Moore, Andrews, Lynch, Walters, Macrae?

Some have questioned his consistency, but i feel he was super consistent last season, and stats show he wasn't that far away from AA contention. It's simy he now has a tank and opportunity in the midfield. His confidence is exactly like the elite superstars in that he just feels like he can slip any tackle and wants the ball in hand. The fact he's leading score involvements in the comp puts him now up with those I've listed above, who IMO are the best players in the comp. Probably has to play like this for an extended time, but he's in Top 10 atm IMO..
End of the year I'll judge him, it's 10 games so far, a bloody impressive 10 but you gotta do more than that for mine. Also would like to see how he goes in a big game with a big crowd.

He would be a top 10 performed player in the league for sure but to be a top 10 player you have to sustain it longer

He's played better than Martin, but Martin's a better player still.
 
Last edited:

A11dAtP0w3R

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No other players can do the stuff Martin, Trac, Fyfe and Bont do. They are the best 4 players in the game right now.

The likes of Oliver, Walters, Danger, Neale, Papley etc are a rung below. No shame in that, they just aren't quite the game breakers like those four.
 

Topkent

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No other players can do the stuff Martin, Trac, Fyfe and Bont do. They are the best 4 players in the game right now.

The likes of Oliver, Walters, Danger, Neale, Papley etc are a rung below. No shame in that, they just aren't quite the game breakers like those four.
IMO Theres an argument for a fully fit Toby Greene in there aswell.
 

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A11dAtP0w3R

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IMO Theres an argument for a fully fit Toby Greene in there aswell.
I think DeGoey is in the same category as Greene. But both arent physically fit enough to have the same midfield impact as the other four. They are two of the many players in the rung below for me.
 

00Stinger

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I think DeGoey is in the same category as Greene. But both arent physically fit enough to have the same midfield impact as the other four. They are two of the many players in the rung below for me.
DeGoey is a rung below Greene

Greene has and can play midfield. He just doesn't as GWS's depth is insane and he is better as a forward
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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DeGoey is a rung below Greene

Greene has and can play midfield. He just doesn't as GWS's depth is insane and he is better as a forward
Go look at my rankings mate in other game discussion and give me yours, I'd put him in the same tier, but I agree Greene is better.
 

TheCount

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Go look at my rankings mate in other game discussion and give me yours, I'd put him in the same tier, but I agree Greene is better.
When up and going they're probably on the same tier, but Greene is consistently on when on the park, DeGoey only turns it on every few weeks even when he is playing.

Greene's consistency, and more so DeGoey's inconsistency separates them comfortably
 

booshboy

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Mark Robinson: You don’t do a lot of media, why today?

Christian Petracca: There’s two reasons. I’ve felt I haven’t really deserved it because I’ve been an inconsistent player, (and) there has been a bit of bad blood between the media and players. But I’m at an age now where I’ve matured and I’m accepting of who I am. I feel like everyone’s going to get to know me anyway in the next few years, so the more I’ve been doing lately the more comfortable I’ve been.

MR: What do you mean by bad blood?

CP: There’s no bad blood … I don’t know, I just didn’t want to do it, to be honest. I wasn’t ready as a player, I probably wasn’t confident in myself. There wasn’t bad blood, it wasn’t the way to put it. It was probably the inner confidence and that I didn’t really deserve it.

MR: Have you wasted years of your football career?

CP: Good question. I feel everything happens for a reason. This is my sixth year and the first couple of years do go so quickly, you don’t realise you’re 23, 24 and you’ve only got seven, eight years left of your career. But I have turned the corner this year. My self-belief is at an all-time high. I’m just wanting it now. I think every player goes through a pre-season or some time in their life when they realise they have to grow up. I needed a wake-up call and this year, this pre-season was massive for me understanding who I was as a person.

MR: What’s triggered this?

CP: It was the back end of last season. Last year we weren’t great, but I felt like I had a pretty good season but it flew under the radar. I was pretty pissed off to be honest, I felt like I deserved more credit for my season. Over the off season, I wanted to work as hard as I could and prepare like an athlete and a professional. And it’s translated into my season. It was a ‘f*** you’ attitude to be honest, I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

MR: You travelled to Europe in the off-season with great mate Clayton Oliver.

CP: It was a good trip. We did Italy, went to London, a bit of Spain and Germany and two weeks later I went to America with (Christian) Salem.

MR: Were you ever jealous of what he was able to achieve as an early 20-something?

CP: No. We are a very competitive friendship group and we push each other a lot. We argue on the field, we argue off the field and that’s what friends do. He’s like a brother.

MR: By 22, he was a two-time B & F winner and an All-Australian. You’re sure you weren’t envious?

CP: Not at all. Everyone starts their career at some point and matures differently. Seeing him succeed was motivation for me to realise that if he could do it, why can’t I?

MR: I reckon you’ve got this power step, a skip almost which you do when you win the ball. Do you know what I’m talking about?

CP: Not really.

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MARK ROBINSON
Robbo Q&A: Christian Petracca reveals the secrets behind his super season
Christian Petracca is finally delivering on his enormous potential. And the reason why? His girlfriend Bella has had plenty to do with it. Mark Robinson goes head to head with the brilliant playmaker ... and Bella.

Mark Robinson, Herald Sun
Subscriber only
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August 14, 2020 9:23pm

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The 'irresistible' AFL GF
AFL: The boys on AFL 360 discuss the potential for an AFL final in either Western Australia or South Australia.
People think Christian Petracca is arrogant.

He says that’s not right. But he has a new-found self-belief that is fuelling an incredible breakout season.

He talks with Mark Robinson about the “zone” he goes into on the field, why he wanted to prove everyone wrong, why he shouldn’t be compared to Dustin Martin, his surprising pre-match routine and why criticism of Demons coach Simon Goodwin is unfair.


Mark Robinson: You don’t do a lot of media, why today?

Christian Petracca: There’s two reasons. I’ve felt I haven’t really deserved it because I’ve been an inconsistent player, (and) there has been a bit of bad blood between the media and players. But I’m at an age now where I’ve matured and I’m accepting of who I am. I feel like everyone’s going to get to know me anyway in the next few years, so the more I’ve been doing lately the more comfortable I’ve been.

MR: What do you mean by bad blood?

CP: There’s no bad blood … I don’t know, I just didn’t want to do it, to be honest. I wasn’t ready as a player, I probably wasn’t confident in myself. There wasn’t bad blood, it wasn’t the way to put it. It was probably the inner confidence and that I didn’t really deserve it.

MR: Have you wasted years of your football career?

CP: Good question. I feel everything happens for a reason. This is my sixth year and the first couple of years do go so quickly, you don’t realise you’re 23, 24 and you’ve only got seven, eight years left of your career. But I have turned the corner this year. My self-belief is at an all-time high. I’m just wanting it now. I think every player goes through a pre-season or some time in their life when they realise they have to grow up. I needed a wake-up call and this year, this pre-season was massive for me understanding who I was as a person.



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MR: What’s triggered this?

CP: It was the back end of last season. Last year we weren’t great, but I felt like I had a pretty good season but it flew under the radar. I was pretty pissed off to be honest, I felt like I deserved more credit for my season. Over the off season, I wanted to work as hard as I could and prepare like an athlete and a professional. And it’s translated into my season. It was a ‘f*** you’ attitude to be honest, I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

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Christian Petracca leaves Jy Simpkin in his wake. Picture: Sarah Reed
Christian Petracca leaves Jy Simpkin in his wake. Picture: Sarah Reed
MR: You travelled to Europe in the off-season with great mate Clayton Oliver.

CP: It was a good trip. We did Italy, went to London, a bit of Spain and Germany and two weeks later I went to America with (Christian) Salem.

MR: Were you ever jealous of what he was able to achieve as an early 20-something?

CP: No. We are a very competitive friendship group and we push each other a lot. We argue on the field, we argue off the field and that’s what friends do. He’s like a brother.

MR: By 22, he was a two-time B & F winner and an All-Australian. You’re sure you weren’t envious?

CP: Not at all. Everyone starts their career at some point and matures differently. Seeing him succeed was motivation for me to realise that if he could do it, why can’t I?

MR: I reckon you’ve got this power step, a skip almost which you do when you win the ball. Do you know what I’m talking about?

CP: Not really.

Christian Petracca has developed a dynamic sidestep in his game, breaking through a Hawthorn tackle at Giants Stadium earlier this year. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Christian Petracca has developed a dynamic sidestep in his game, breaking through a Hawthorn tackle at Giants Stadium earlier this year. Picture. Phil Hillyard
MR: It appears you skip and then explode.

CP: I have no idea. To be honest, I don’t know half the stuff I do on the field. I play on instinct. I’m in the zone when I play, but I do know one thing, I do like my little spin move, maybe that’s what you’re talking about.

MR: No, they used to be called blind turns.

CP: That’s right. Dad said that a couple of times when I was a kid. It just helps me get out of traffic and I suppose it comes from my basketball background.

MR: What do you see, what do you feel when you’re near or have the ball? Do you now feel a responsibility to change the game?

CP : For sure. I always try to make an impact every time I touch the ball. I’m at the age now where I can be that person who can inspire my teammates. I’ve worked too hard not to be that person, I feel it’s in my repertoire to be that person. When I’m unthinking, I’m not playing good footy. In the games I’ve played well in this year, I’ve been relaxed, very calm, knowing my role, knowing what I need to do for the team and everything has fallen into place. The biggest thing I’ve found this year is getting over to contests with speed.

MR: It’s the mindset of a player who knows the level he is capable of producing.

CP: I agree. I feel I can say those things now because of the belief I have in myself, the confidence I’ve done in my work, and not just that, but the confidence Goody has shown in me when I didn’t have that belief.

MR: How hungry you are? Have you now got that killer attitude and desire?

CP: I’m developing that kill. This year I’ve really started to take a step to understand it.

MR: Understand what exactly?

CP: Understanding my ability, understanding who I am and what I need to be doing Monday to Friday. For me, to see what the club went through last year, and the fans, I didn’t want that anymore. What pissed me off is that we could go through that again. Every time I go out there I want to prove to people we are a good club and we deserve to be up the top of the ladder.

MR: And, personally, show people you could be a great player?

CP: 100 per cent. But it’s more proving it to myself, to be honest. I don’t care what people think of me, other than my friends, my girlfriend, my teammates and my coaches, but to me it’s about proving to myself I do have what it takes to be a great player.

MR: It’s a fine line between being confident and being cocky?

CP: There is. You can be arrogant with the way you go about things, but I think the way I go about it, it’s confidence and an inner belief. It’s a very good trait to have. Who doesn’t want to be confident when you go out to play? You don’t want to be second-guessing yourself.

MR: You don’t doubt yourself?

CP: Not anymore. Yes, you’re not human if you don’t have doubt, but that doubt fuels my anger and aggression in wanting to be better.

MR: Do you want to be the best player in the competition?

CP: Yeah. Individual accolades are a bonus, because you always want to play in a premiership. But do I want to be the best player in the competition? Yeah, I do. I feel I can, I want to be, but at the same time, I’ve got a lot to do to get the level I know I can get to.

MR: For one of your first interviews in the Herald Sun, the headline was “The Prince of Swagger’’ …

CP: It’s a terrible headline (laughing). I don’t have swagger. I didn’t have it back then.

MR: You have it now?

CP: I don’t know, what do you think?

MR: I see a player who has finally realised what he is capable of. That’s not swagger

CP: I’m in a whole different head space and I’m a completely different person than what I was five years ago when that article was written. Back then, it was about managing my emotions and stress levels and the coping mechanisms needed in this industry. The expectations on myself haven’t changed since I was drafted, but I have a better understanding about how to control those situations I was just talking about. It’s about not worrying about the future, or what happened in the past, it’s about being in the present. So, when you asked me about those years being wasted, you kind of forget about them. I just focus on the now.

CP: I haven’t achieved anything at all.

MR: There’s so much more of the Christian Petracca story to unfold.

CP: 100 per cent. As you say, I’m just getting started. I don’t picture myself as someone who’s at the calibre of the best players in the AFL. I’m maturing and developing and 10 good games don’t make you a great player. That’s built over five or six years and playing finals.

MR: Who are the best five players in the game?

CP: I’ve grown up loving Scott Pendlebury and he’s still in my top five. Dustin Martin is another one and he’s someone I’ve modelled my game on. Nat Fyfe. Maxy Gawn is another one. Lachie Neale as well. And there’s Paddy Dangerfield.

MR: The great Shane Crawford said recently you had gone past Dusty. I wrote everyone’s got to chill a bit.

CP: I’m on your side. It’s a great privilege to be recognised as having similar characteristics as Dustin Martin, but I’ve got a long way to go to be even associated with him and Dangerfield and a few others. I’ve always looked up to Dustin and have read about his mindfulness and mediation.

MR: Have you adopted that?

CP: Yeah, I do. I absolutely love it. I started it over Christmas and then over COVID time, and living down the peninsula and being around the beach and now being at Maroochydore and having the beach … it really makes you calm and peaceful and present. You just close your eyes and breathe.

MR: Can you describe your pre-game mentality?

CP: If you could see what I do before a game you’d be shocked. I read for half an hour in the rooms. Let’s say we play 3pm, I probably read about 2.15pm. I read The Secret. It’s about mindfulness, it’s about inner belief and positiveness. After that I do 10 minutes of breathing, just close the eyes and let thoughts come into my mind.

MR: Who gave you the book?

CP: My girlfriend Bella. She’s the key behind the success. She’s brought a lot of fulfilment and positivity into my life.

MR: You seem really at peace with yourself.

CP: I’m learning every day. The book explains about being at peace with who you are. Your own perception of yourself is the most important perception.

MR: What is the one aspect that Simon Goodwin has helped you with?

CP: That self belief. He’s always been there when others haven’t been there for me. We joke a lot and I call him my second dad. He’s someone who has overcome adversity in his own life and to see where he is now … the boys think he’s doing an unbelievable job.

MR: There’s questions being asked of him.

CP: And I think they are pretty unfair, to be honest. All 44 of us love Goody coaching us. I love him and the way he goes about it.

MR: What do you believe is an incorrect perception of you?

CP: People probably think I’m very arrogant. People don’t understand how high the expectation I have on myself.

MR: Can you send me a photo of you and Bella?

CP: Yeah, I’ll look for it. Bella is sitting here next to me.

BELLA: Hello.

MR: Have you guys had this interview on loud speaker from the start?

CP: (laughing in the background)

BELLA: We have and I’ve really wanted to butt in, but I didn’t.

MR: I hope I wasn’t swearing too much.

BELLA: Not at all. It was interesting. I was going to answer the question about the biggest misconception about Christian. People think he’s so confident, and he is charismatic and he loves people, but with self confidence, I think he comes across a lot more confident than he is. He’s still growing and evolving and in the past year I’ve seen him transform so much as a person, just with gratitude, mindfulness and the meditation. When I first met him, he had this manic energy and he’s calmed down. I think it’s his hunger that’s grown. You pressed him, like, how badly do you want this?

MR: Was I too harsh?

BELLA: It’s something we often talk about. You have to have this constant dedication every day, you have to wake up every day and say, ‘How badly do I want this today?’. That’s a work in progress.

MR: How did you bite your tongue the whole time?

BELLA: He speaks well for himself.

MR: What do you think when he’s compared to Dustin Martin?

BELLA: It’s a privilege to be in the same conversation, but at the same time, he’s just getting started.

MR: Good to talk to you … both.
 

booshboy

Club Legend
Aug 27, 2008
2,342
3,212
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
Mark Robinson: You don’t do a lot of media, why today?

Christian Petracca: There’s two reasons. I’ve felt I haven’t really deserved it because I’ve been an inconsistent player, (and) there has been a bit of bad blood between the media and players. But I’m at an age now where I’ve matured and I’m accepting of who I am. I feel like everyone’s going to get to know me anyway in the next few years, so the more I’ve been doing lately the more comfortable I’ve been.

MR: What do you mean by bad blood?

CP: There’s no bad blood … I don’t know, I just didn’t want to do it, to be honest. I wasn’t ready as a player, I probably wasn’t confident in myself. There wasn’t bad blood, it wasn’t the way to put it. It was probably the inner confidence and that I didn’t really deserve it.

MR: Have you wasted years of your football career?

CP: Good question. I feel everything happens for a reason. This is my sixth year and the first couple of years do go so quickly, you don’t realise you’re 23, 24 and you’ve only got seven, eight years left of your career. But I have turned the corner this year. My self-belief is at an all-time high. I’m just wanting it now. I think every player goes through a pre-season or some time in their life when they realise they have to grow up. I needed a wake-up call and this year, this pre-season was massive for me understanding who I was as a person.

MR: What’s triggered this?

CP: It was the back end of last season. Last year we weren’t great, but I felt like I had a pretty good season but it flew under the radar. I was pretty pissed off to be honest, I felt like I deserved more credit for my season. Over the off season, I wanted to work as hard as I could and prepare like an athlete and a professional. And it’s translated into my season. It was a ‘f*** you’ attitude to be honest, I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

MR: You travelled to Europe in the off-season with great mate Clayton Oliver.

CP: It was a good trip. We did Italy, went to London, a bit of Spain and Germany and two weeks later I went to America with (Christian) Salem.

MR: Were you ever jealous of what he was able to achieve as an early 20-something?

CP: No. We are a very competitive friendship group and we push each other a lot. We argue on the field, we argue off the field and that’s what friends do. He’s like a brother.

MR: By 22, he was a two-time B & F winner and an All-Australian. You’re sure you weren’t envious?

CP: Not at all. Everyone starts their career at some point and matures differently. Seeing him succeed was motivation for me to realise that if he could do it, why can’t I?

MR: I reckon you’ve got this power step, a skip almost which you do when you win the ball. Do you know what I’m talking about?

CP: Not really.

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MARK ROBINSON
Robbo Q&A: Christian Petracca reveals the secrets behind his super season
Christian Petracca is finally delivering on his enormous potential. And the reason why? His girlfriend Bella has had plenty to do with it. Mark Robinson goes head to head with the brilliant playmaker ... and Bella.

Mark Robinson, Herald Sun
Subscriber only
|
August 14, 2020 9:23pm

FOXSPORTS1:23
The 'irresistible' AFL GF
AFL: The boys on AFL 360 discuss the potential for an AFL final in either Western Australia or South Australia.
People think Christian Petracca is arrogant.

He says that’s not right. But he has a new-found self-belief that is fuelling an incredible breakout season.

He talks with Mark Robinson about the “zone” he goes into on the field, why he wanted to prove everyone wrong, why he shouldn’t be compared to Dustin Martin, his surprising pre-match routine and why criticism of Demons coach Simon Goodwin is unfair.


Mark Robinson: You don’t do a lot of media, why today?

Christian Petracca: There’s two reasons. I’ve felt I haven’t really deserved it because I’ve been an inconsistent player, (and) there has been a bit of bad blood between the media and players. But I’m at an age now where I’ve matured and I’m accepting of who I am. I feel like everyone’s going to get to know me anyway in the next few years, so the more I’ve been doing lately the more comfortable I’ve been.

MR: What do you mean by bad blood?

CP: There’s no bad blood … I don’t know, I just didn’t want to do it, to be honest. I wasn’t ready as a player, I probably wasn’t confident in myself. There wasn’t bad blood, it wasn’t the way to put it. It was probably the inner confidence and that I didn’t really deserve it.

MR: Have you wasted years of your football career?

CP: Good question. I feel everything happens for a reason. This is my sixth year and the first couple of years do go so quickly, you don’t realise you’re 23, 24 and you’ve only got seven, eight years left of your career. But I have turned the corner this year. My self-belief is at an all-time high. I’m just wanting it now. I think every player goes through a pre-season or some time in their life when they realise they have to grow up. I needed a wake-up call and this year, this pre-season was massive for me understanding who I was as a person.



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MR: What’s triggered this?

CP: It was the back end of last season. Last year we weren’t great, but I felt like I had a pretty good season but it flew under the radar. I was pretty pissed off to be honest, I felt like I deserved more credit for my season. Over the off season, I wanted to work as hard as I could and prepare like an athlete and a professional. And it’s translated into my season. It was a ‘f*** you’ attitude to be honest, I wanted to prove everyone wrong.

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Christian Petracca leaves Jy Simpkin in his wake. Picture: Sarah Reed
Christian Petracca leaves Jy Simpkin in his wake. Picture: Sarah Reed
MR: You travelled to Europe in the off-season with great mate Clayton Oliver.

CP: It was a good trip. We did Italy, went to London, a bit of Spain and Germany and two weeks later I went to America with (Christian) Salem.

MR: Were you ever jealous of what he was able to achieve as an early 20-something?

CP: No. We are a very competitive friendship group and we push each other a lot. We argue on the field, we argue off the field and that’s what friends do. He’s like a brother.

MR: By 22, he was a two-time B & F winner and an All-Australian. You’re sure you weren’t envious?

CP: Not at all. Everyone starts their career at some point and matures differently. Seeing him succeed was motivation for me to realise that if he could do it, why can’t I?

MR: I reckon you’ve got this power step, a skip almost which you do when you win the ball. Do you know what I’m talking about?

CP: Not really.

Christian Petracca has developed a dynamic sidestep in his game, breaking through a Hawthorn tackle at Giants Stadium earlier this year. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Christian Petracca has developed a dynamic sidestep in his game, breaking through a Hawthorn tackle at Giants Stadium earlier this year. Picture. Phil Hillyard
MR: It appears you skip and then explode.

CP: I have no idea. To be honest, I don’t know half the stuff I do on the field. I play on instinct. I’m in the zone when I play, but I do know one thing, I do like my little spin move, maybe that’s what you’re talking about.

MR: No, they used to be called blind turns.

CP: That’s right. Dad said that a couple of times when I was a kid. It just helps me get out of traffic and I suppose it comes from my basketball background.

MR: What do you see, what do you feel when you’re near or have the ball? Do you now feel a responsibility to change the game?

CP : For sure. I always try to make an impact every time I touch the ball. I’m at the age now where I can be that person who can inspire my teammates. I’ve worked too hard not to be that person, I feel it’s in my repertoire to be that person. When I’m unthinking, I’m not playing good footy. In the games I’ve played well in this year, I’ve been relaxed, very calm, knowing my role, knowing what I need to do for the team and everything has fallen into place. The biggest thing I’ve found this year is getting over to contests with speed.

MR: It’s the mindset of a player who knows the level he is capable of producing.

CP: I agree. I feel I can say those things now because of the belief I have in myself, the confidence I’ve done in my work, and not just that, but the confidence Goody has shown in me when I didn’t have that belief.

MR: How hungry you are? Have you now got that killer attitude and desire?

CP: I’m developing that kill. This year I’ve really started to take a step to understand it.

MR: Understand what exactly?

CP: Understanding my ability, understanding who I am and what I need to be doing Monday to Friday. For me, to see what the club went through last year, and the fans, I didn’t want that anymore. What pissed me off is that we could go through that again. Every time I go out there I want to prove to people we are a good club and we deserve to be up the top of the ladder.

MR: And, personally, show people you could be a great player?

CP: 100 per cent. But it’s more proving it to myself, to be honest. I don’t care what people think of me, other than my friends, my girlfriend, my teammates and my coaches, but to me it’s about proving to myself I do have what it takes to be a great player.

MR: It’s a fine line between being confident and being cocky?

CP: There is. You can be arrogant with the way you go about things, but I think the way I go about it, it’s confidence and an inner belief. It’s a very good trait to have. Who doesn’t want to be confident when you go out to play? You don’t want to be second-guessing yourself.

MR: You don’t doubt yourself?

CP: Not anymore. Yes, you’re not human if you don’t have doubt, but that doubt fuels my anger and aggression in wanting to be better.

MR: Do you want to be the best player in the competition?

CP: Yeah. Individual accolades are a bonus, because you always want to play in a premiership. But do I want to be the best player in the competition? Yeah, I do. I feel I can, I want to be, but at the same time, I’ve got a lot to do to get the level I know I can get to.

MR: For one of your first interviews in the Herald Sun, the headline was “The Prince of Swagger’’ …

CP: It’s a terrible headline (laughing). I don’t have swagger. I didn’t have it back then.

MR: You have it now?

CP: I don’t know, what do you think?

MR: I see a player who has finally realised what he is capable of. That’s not swagger

CP: I’m in a whole different head space and I’m a completely different person than what I was five years ago when that article was written. Back then, it was about managing my emotions and stress levels and the coping mechanisms needed in this industry. The expectations on myself haven’t changed since I was drafted, but I have a better understanding about how to control those situations I was just talking about. It’s about not worrying about the future, or what happened in the past, it’s about being in the present. So, when you asked me about those years being wasted, you kind of forget about them. I just focus on the now.

CP: I haven’t achieved anything at all.

MR: There’s so much more of the Christian Petracca story to unfold.

CP: 100 per cent. As you say, I’m just getting started. I don’t picture myself as someone who’s at the calibre of the best players in the AFL. I’m maturing and developing and 10 good games don’t make you a great player. That’s built over five or six years and playing finals.

MR: Who are the best five players in the game?

CP: I’ve grown up loving Scott Pendlebury and he’s still in my top five. Dustin Martin is another one and he’s someone I’ve modelled my game on. Nat Fyfe. Maxy Gawn is another one. Lachie Neale as well. And there’s Paddy Dangerfield.

MR: The great Shane Crawford said recently you had gone past Dusty. I wrote everyone’s got to chill a bit.

CP: I’m on your side. It’s a great privilege to be recognised as having similar characteristics as Dustin Martin, but I’ve got a long way to go to be even associated with him and Dangerfield and a few others. I’ve always looked up to Dustin and have read about his mindfulness and mediation.

MR: Have you adopted that?

CP: Yeah, I do. I absolutely love it. I started it over Christmas and then over COVID time, and living down the peninsula and being around the beach and now being at Maroochydore and having the beach … it really makes you calm and peaceful and present. You just close your eyes and breathe.

MR: Can you describe your pre-game mentality?

CP: If you could see what I do before a game you’d be shocked. I read for half an hour in the rooms. Let’s say we play 3pm, I probably read about 2.15pm. I read The Secret. It’s about mindfulness, it’s about inner belief and positiveness. After that I do 10 minutes of breathing, just close the eyes and let thoughts come into my mind.

MR: Who gave you the book?

CP: My girlfriend Bella. She’s the key behind the success. She’s brought a lot of fulfilment and positivity into my life.

MR: You seem really at peace with yourself.

CP: I’m learning every day. The book explains about being at peace with who you are. Your own perception of yourself is the most important perception.

MR: What is the one aspect that Simon Goodwin has helped you with?

CP: That self belief. He’s always been there when others haven’t been there for me. We joke a lot and I call him my second dad. He’s someone who has overcome adversity in his own life and to see where he is now … the boys think he’s doing an unbelievable job.

MR: There’s questions being asked of him.

CP: And I think they are pretty unfair, to be honest. All 44 of us love Goody coaching us. I love him and the way he goes about it.

MR: What do you believe is an incorrect perception of you?

CP: People probably think I’m very arrogant. People don’t understand how high the expectation I have on myself.

MR: Can you send me a photo of you and Bella?

CP: Yeah, I’ll look for it. Bella is sitting here next to me.

BELLA: Hello.

MR: Have you guys had this interview on loud speaker from the start?

CP: (laughing in the background)

BELLA: We have and I’ve really wanted to butt in, but I didn’t.

MR: I hope I wasn’t swearing too much.

BELLA: Not at all. It was interesting. I was going to answer the question about the biggest misconception about Christian. People think he’s so confident, and he is charismatic and he loves people, but with self confidence, I think he comes across a lot more confident than he is. He’s still growing and evolving and in the past year I’ve seen him transform so much as a person, just with gratitude, mindfulness and the meditation. When I first met him, he had this manic energy and he’s calmed down. I think it’s his hunger that’s grown. You pressed him, like, how badly do you want this?

MR: Was I too harsh?

BELLA: It’s something we often talk about. You have to have this constant dedication every day, you have to wake up every day and say, ‘How badly do I want this today?’. That’s a work in progress.

MR: How did you bite your tongue the whole time?

BELLA: He speaks well for himself.

MR: What do you think when he’s compared to Dustin Martin?

BELLA: It’s a privilege to be in the same conversation, but at the same time, he’s just getting started.

MR: Good to talk to you … both.
apologies for the butchered cut and paste job but hopefully you can wade through the sh*t and read it all. we haven't had many genuine stars the last 50 years but reckon this guy will be as close as we get for a while.
 

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