Petrie keen to captain Roos before hometown crowd

NORTH Melbourne star forward Drew Petrie remains a strong chance to captain his team against Carlton in his hometown next week.

Petrie stepped up as skipper for the injured Andrew Swallow last season, but the Kangaroos are yet to determine who will officially lead the team in Ballarat for the NAB Challenge match – Petrie or fellow vice-captains Jack Ziebell and Daniel Wells.

He has declared himself fit and ready to play though, keen to impress in home crowds.

“I can’t wait to play,” Petrie said. “We’ve played a lot of games up here the past couple of years and I haven’t always been able to play. I’ve been injured or we rotated a few of the senior guys last year and it was my turn for a rest.

“Saturday week, I will be able to play and can’t wait to get out on the field again at Eureka Stadium.”

Petrie was unveiled yesterday as the Ballarat Football League youth girls’ Blue Ribbon spirit of sport ambassador.

“When I heard it was about creating fair play and sportsmanship I thought it was a great initiative,” Petrie said.

Petrie enjoyed the chance to return to Ballarat the past two days with his playing group as part of the club’s AFL community camp.

The Kangaroos’ whole roster has been busy working with school clinics, football training with grassroots clubs and community groups.

Petrie had training with his junior club, Ballarat Swans, and admitted he pulled up sore after time on the lake rowing with Dragons Abreast.

The BFL has presented Spirit of Sport awards for two years in under-16.5 football and netball.