End of playing era for Ballarat’s Petrie

FAREWELL: Ballarat export Drew Petrie (right) leaves the ground in his final AFL match, a semi-final loss to Greater Western Sydney in Sydney on Saturday night. Picture: AAP
FAREWELL: Ballarat export Drew Petrie (right) leaves the ground in his final AFL match, a semi-final loss to Greater Western Sydney in Sydney on Saturday night. Picture: AAP

BALLARAT’S first truly homegrown player to chalk up 300 AFL games has hung up his boots for the final time.

Drew Petrie, one of the first AFL players to push for AFL premiership season games in Ballarat, officially ended his playing career with West Coast Eagles on Saturday night in a 67-point semi-final loss to Greater Western Sydney in Sydney.

The 34-year-old has remained a strong ambassador for his hometown and development of the game in Ballarat through an AFL playing career spanning 17 seasons, including 16 with North Melbourne.

Petrie was a key driver in the Think Big Ballarat campaign, launched in 2011, to bring AFL matches to Ballarat –  which happened for the first time this season. 

Growing up playing juniors with Ballarat Swans, Petrie was drafted to North Melbourne in 2000. He was the face of North’s official ties with the City of Ballarat.

Petrie is expected to remain in Perth with his young family, possibly in a role with the Eagles where former North mentor Adam Simpson is head coach.