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McGovern happy to have Petrie on his side

Rhys Dickinson  March 20, 2017 1:00 PM

McGovern press conference 20.03.17 Eagles defender Jeremy McGovern speaks to the media ahead of the Eagles' round one clash with North Melbourne
AFL 2016 Rd 08 - West Coast v St Kilda

Jeremy McGovern reckons Drew Petrie has brought a lot to the Eagles since arriving in Perth late last year

Jeremy McGovern says the Eagles will tap into new recruit Drew Petrie’s intimate knowledge of North Melbourne while also focusing on what it does best as a team ahead of the club’s season opener at Etihad Stadium.

The 2016 All Australian defender said Petrie’s intel could give them a slight edge for Sunday’s match, but he suspected the Kangaroos’ game might have changed since his departure last year.

“He’s got a little bit of an insight there, which is going to be handy for us,” McGovern said.

“They’ve probably changed personnel and changed a few things from when he was playing there last year. We’ll take as much as we can out of it, but we will be focused on our game plan and our stuff going into this week.”

Regardless of whether or not Petrie’s insider information helps the Eagles at the weekend, McGovern said the club had been rapt with his efforts this pre-season.

He believed Petrie’s professionalism was already rubbing off on a number of the club’s young – and experienced – Eagles.

“He’s a ripping fella and he’s pretty similar to Pridda in a way; he’s really professional and goes about his business in a really professional manner,” McGovern revealed.

“He trains really hard and puts his best foot forward in everything he does.

“It’s just great for us that he has come on and slotted in really easy, along with the other two boys that have come over. It’s been great.”

Speaking to the media ahead of the team’s first training session of the week, McGovern said Adam Simpson and the club's coaching staff were yet to assign West Coast's defenders match ups for the game.

But McGovern suspected he would spend some time marking Shinboner spearheads Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite.

“We don’t normally have a pure match up,” McGovern said.

“I’m sure I’ll be on them at some stage, but we haven’t really discussed it too much yet. I’m sure later on in the week, when we fine tune a few things, we will find out our match ups.