North Melbourne out to win for Petrie

As is the case when any AFL player features in their 300th game, North Melbourne are keen to celebrate Drew Petrie’s milestone with a win.

But using the word ‘player’ to describe Petrie is simplistic and fails to detail just how much added motivation the Kangaroos will have against St Kilda on Sunday.

It ignores how much the 33-year-old has contributed to the Kangaroos.

Teammates Scott Thompson and Michael Firrito both recalled some of Petrie’s greatest on-field deeds and games where he has willed North across the line.

But in describing the reason Petrie is so revered at Arden Street, they agreed it was about so much more than clutch marks or goal hauls.

“He really epitomises everything we’re about. He’s almost Mr Perfect,” Firrito said.

“Not only his work rate at training but just the person he is, he’s a gentleman.

“On family days or clinics he will always be the first one there and the last to leave. He’ll sign autographs until there’s no more kids left. He always wants to have a chat.

“So when any young guys come into the footy club, they see Drew and know that’s the way to go about it.”

Thompson is a prime example.

When the defender was taken with pick No.37 in the 2007 draft it was Petrie who quickly showed him the ropes.

“As a young kid I really looked up to Drew. I still do,” Thompson said.

“When I first met him, what stood out what his training ethic. He trains so hard and is always trying to drive everyone.

“I kind of tried to base myself on him, he’s been such a great role model for me.

“He’s just a terrific person, on and off the field.”

That’s not to say the power forward isn’t capable of delivering a few stern words or meaningful messages when required.

Thompson explained how some of their early intra-club battles became heated.

“I’d try to hold him and stuff. He’d get very angry,” he said.

“It was all a good learning curve, he just made me a better player.”

Thompson and Firrito both declared the undefeated Kangaroos didn’t want to let Petrie down in his milestone match.

“People like Drew are why we’re a great footy club. Before him it was Glenn Archer, Anthony Stevens and those sort of blokes,” Firrito said.

“Drewy has probably seen what they do and almost exceeded it.”

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