North Melbourne forward Drew Petrie was “mentally drained” in the last round of the AFL season but is adamant he can fire up in finals.
Petrie, Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito all faced Greater Western Sydney in round 23.
The game came five days after the four much-loved veterans were told this season would be their last at Arden St.
Petrie, who had just three kicks against the Giants, admitted on Sunday the news impacted his performance.
“It was only match day. I felt great in the preparation all week, in the warm-up I was feeling good,” Petrie said at Fox Footy’s Longest Kick Wildcard event.
“The happenings of the week maybe all dawned on me in that game … I just felt a bit mentally drained by the end of the third quarter.
“Maybe it would have been better if I was a blabbering mess on Wednesday or Thursday, got that out of my system.”
The other alternative would have been for coach Brad Scott to hold off delivering the news until North’s campaign finished.
“You can look back in hindsight and suggest maybe if I had found out after the season it might have been better,” Petrie said.
“But I’m a resilient person and mentally capable of handling these decisions.
“I was fine with being told.”
Petrie’s game was so poor it has led to speculation he could be axed to accommodate the expected return of forward Jarrad Waite.
Petrie hasn’t sought any assurances from Scott ahead of Saturday night’s elimination final against Adelaide.
The 33-year-old pointed to his record in AFL finals as cause for confidence regarding his chances of making the trip to Adelaide Oval.
“I know there’s some guys that have got to come back in .. but I’m not worried,” Petrie said.
“I know that my form in finals over the last two years has been as good as anybody in our team.
“I know Brad will be aware of that as well.”
Petrie added he would be entirely focused on upsetting the Crows.
“It will be more of a motivating factor this week, knowing it’s do or die. There’s no next week for us if we lose,” he said.
“None of us – Michael, Brent, Nick or myself – want to go out by bombing out in the first week of finals.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure we’ve got another chance and hopefully we can go out winners.”
Petrie said he hadn’t given any more thought towards potentially playing on at a different club in 2017.