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‘Samo’ looking to build something special

From the remote town of Halls Creek in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, Sam Petrevski-Seton has emerged as an important member of Carlton’s on-ball brigade. Petrevski-Seton spoke to AFL Players’ about his nomination in the 22Under22 Squad and his time at the Blues so far.

Katie de Haer: Sam, congratulations on making the 22Under22 Squad. It must be pretty special to be recognised by the AFL Players’ Board?

Sam Petrevski-Seton: It’s a huge honour. Obviously, it’s a great personal achievement, but I couldn’t have done it without my other 22 teammates on the field. To be able to contribute each week, it’s been good.

You’ve missed less than a handful of games since your debut in 2017 and surpassed the 50-game milestone this year. Has it gone a lot quicker than you expected?

Yeah – it has gone pretty quickly! I’m in my third year now – I’m trying to build something special with this Carlton team but also trying to look after my body the best I can to be as professional as I can to be able to run out each week and pull on the Carlton jumper. It means a lot to me and the other players to represent this team. It’s definitely gone pretty quickly so far – but it’s about doing all those little things off the field, like training hard to be able to run out games.

Vote for your 22under22 team

You’re from WA and played some League games with Claremont in the WAFL before you were drafted. How did that experience set you up for playing senior football in the AFL? 

Obviously, I played against bigger bodies in the WAFL, trying to work out how I could beat them. But, in saying that, I feel I learnt a lot more when I came here to Carlton and was learning from experienced players like Marc Murphy, Patty Cripps and Sam Docherty – just little things to do with craft and technique, like being able to out outmaneuver bigger bodies when you come across them. I’m in my third year now, I feel like I’ve learnt a fair bit but I’ll continue to learn further into my career.

You spoke about those guys like Marc Murphy and Patrick Cripps. What’s it like playing alongside them?

They’re players that you really rely on. They’re both such great leaders for the club, to play alongside them, it means a lot to me. Hopefully Murph’s still got another couple of years’ left in him and Crippa is a first year captain. To watch them – how they lead by example, their leadership at training and inside the four walls of the club – you definitely learn a lot from them. When they speak, you listen. I’ve loved learning off them.

You’ve amassed career highs in disposals, marks and clearances this season. What do you put that consistency down to? Are you happy with how your year has progressed?

Yeah, to be honest, I think I’ve had a pretty consistent season. I’ve got thrown around in a few positions, but I think what set me up this year was to have a good pre-season. My first two years I wasn’t able to do that because I was injured just before the season started. Having a full pre-season under my belt definitely helped set me up for a good year. I’m trying to do the little things well, training well so I can run out games.

David Teague has officially signed on as senior coach. You must be really excited with the direction the club is heading? 

Definitely. We really enjoy working under him, training under him and playing for him. It’s a great achievement for himself and for his family, but it’s our job to help him with our performance. Teaguey’s been great, on and off the field, he’s building relationships, there’s a lot of care factor in him, he’s coaching with care and enjoyment as well. We’re stoked to have him on board and to play under him.

I just wanted to touch on the passing of Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer. Polly finished his playing career some 50 years ago but he was undoubtedly a trailblazer for Indigenous players. Are you able to reflect on his passing and the impact he has had on Indigenous players?

Moving away from his home and family in Western Australia was probably one of the hardest things he did in his football career. For him to stick it out and have a long career at Geelong is admirable. That sacrifice he made for himself and his family is similar in a way to what I’ve done. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of things to get where I am now. And I’m pretty grateful that I took the opportunity to come over here and continue my life in Melbourne and to represent the club.

Were there any Indigenous players that you looked to model your game on when you were growing up?

At a young age, I enjoyed watching Cyril Rioli. Whenever he went near the footy, something exciting happened. I think what stood out to me was the fact that he didn’t get a lot of touches, but he made the ones that he did get count. His pressure in the forward line to get the turnover, and get the ball on his terms, was amazing to watch. I’ve also liked watching (Gold Coast’s) Jack Martin – he’s from the Kimberley region. His story is probably what drove me a bit to get to where I am now.

We know that footy can be consuming – you’re training and playing every week. What keeps you busy outside of football? 

One day a week we get a day off. On that day, I tend to go down and do a carpentry course in Williamstown with Lachie Plowman, Matthew Kennedy and Andrew Phillips. It’s my first year doing that and I’m really enjoying it. It’s something similar to what I did in school – more hands on – carpentry, building, bricklaying, construction and a bit of boiler making. It’s something that I enjoy doing with those boys.

I noticed that you enjoy using your drone when you’re back home. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

It was a good day to take out the drone and take some snaps walking along the beach. It’s something when I’m back home I tend to do, but I also like hunting, fishing and camping. Being outdoors, enjoying nature, switching off from footy and getting a bit of fresh air, enjoying the sun and enjoying the company of my cousins and family members.

You’re one of five 22under22 representatives from the Blues, with Zac Fisher, Harry McKay, Jacob Weitering and Sam Walsh also recognised for their 2019 home and away seasons. If you had to pick one of those guys for their consistency this year, who would you choose and why?

I’d love to pick all of them, to be honest. But the one that’s stood out to me the most is Sam Walsh. His ability to come in and to train hard and play some really good, consistent footy in his first year is really impressive. I can only imagine he is going to get better in that area – be bigger, stronger and fitter. The more pre-seasons he has, the more consistent he’ll be in his career.

Thanks for your time, Sam. All the best for the rest of the year.

No worries, thanks very much.