Drew Petrie says he’s loving being part of the WAFL Eagles following a year-and-a-half stint on the sidelines.
The 36-year-old made his return to football in round 11 this WAFL season, helping West Coast to a 72-point win over East Fremantle.
Since his return, Petrie has spent the majority of playing time in the Eagles’ backline, where he is averaging 11 disposals over his first three games.
Petrie said he was enjoying the challenge of playing in defence.
“It is very different,” Petrie told SportsFM recently.
“I spent 18 months probably back in 2005, 2006 at North (Melbourne) playing in defence, so I’ve had a little bit of a taste. Often back in the day when you could sit someone behind the footy I would be that person to sit in defence as a spare.
“I’ve really enjoyed having a different look at the game. Playing alongside Josh Rotham and Tom Cole, guys like Andrew Fisher, Mitch Curnow have been really good to play with. We’ve got a pretty good level of unity and synergy with how we’re defending at the moment, so hopefully that continues.”
The 2011 all-Australian forward has been training with the Eagles WAFL team for two months now and says his goal is to be available every week if called upon.
“It’s just to be available for the remainder of the year,” Petrie said.
“I’ll be available to play and if the club has enough form players and enough defenders in a particular week then I won’t play. It’s more just I’ll be available if you need me.”
Since his return, Petrie has helped the WAFL Eagles to three consecutive victories, which has seen the team sky-rocket back into finals contention.
Petrie said having more continuity in recent weeks had helped West Coast get on a roll.
“We’ve had a pretty stable team the last three games, and again this week against West Perth,” he said.
“The last three weeks there hasn’t been much change and that has allowed us to have some pretty good wins.”