I first met Petch at the NAB under-18 All Stars game, which was played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL grand final.
We were both playing on Team Enright, which allowed us to get to know each other a little bit ahead of the draft.
He was a quiet and unassuming guy at the start but opened up more once I got to know him better.
Since we’ve arrived at West Coast, Petch has come out of his shell.
Off the field he’s a casual and relaxed guy, which is the complete opposite of his on-field persona.
Once he crosses the boundary line, he’s fast and dynamic.
It’s a little bit ironic actually, because away from football he sleeps more than anyone I know.
If I had to describe him in three words, they would be: lazy but fast.
He spends his time away from football sleeping and chilling out but on the field he’s got some serious speed – it’s a weird combination for someone to have.
It’s also why the media talks about him being a ‘Ferrari’ but it’s a comparison he’s had nothing to do with.
It started after the draft combine from interviews he had with clubs and it hasn’t left him.
Although Petch doesn’t have any immediate family in Western Australia, he has close ties with one of his dad’s best friends.
As a result of that, once a week all of the first and second-year boys go to his house for dinner.
Having that connection for him has helped to keep him afloat and calm when things might be a bit challenging.
As a first-year player in 2018 he had a tough introduction to life at the elite level.
He’d played a couple of games and was beginning to find his feet before an ankle injury meant he missed a chunk of footy.
It set him back a little bit but since taking on a new role this year he’s grown in confidence.
With a few retirements at the end of last season, Petch has become more comfortable with the role he plays in our forward line.
He’s shown that when he’s confident and trusting in his own ability he’s a tough opponent to beat no matter who he’s playing against.
That was in full effect on Friday night against Port Adelaide.
Although it was a disappointing night for the team, Petch’s performance meant he could hold his head high.
Initially, he was pretty understated about how well he had played but once Simmo told him it was ok to be a bit confident and happy about his game, he became chirpier about it.
Petch understands the bigger picture though and so he hasn’t gone on about it too much!
Away from the football field he’s a really good, down-to-earth mate.
But, he’s got plenty of annoying habits!
The fact he’s always on his phone is one of them.
Sometimes, you can’t get more than one word answers out of him.
He’s also known to tuck into an entire ice-cream cake on his own – it’s one of the things he enjoys most.
I don’t want to pot him too much thought because he’s got some great qualities as well.
We’ve become a close-knit group in Perth and we stand by each other and make sure we help each other out through the tough times.
Petch has really shown that throughout this year.
AFL RISING STAR NOMINEES IN 2019
Round 5 — Jack Petruccelle (West Coast)