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Petrevski-Seton reveals the home ties that bind

“The first two weeks, I wanted to stay in Melbourne and then at the start of the third week it hit me that I should have been home,” Petrevski-Seton said.

“But I’m pretty happy that I made the decision to stay down here.

“I’m not saying I don’t want to be around family but they’re just the choices you have to make as an athlete and I didn’t want to go back and put my family and the rest of the community at risk of the coronavirus.”

As Western Australia and its regional shires started to tighten borders Petrevski-Seton explored returning home, but decided against it.

“I just had to sign an exemption form to try and get approved to get back,” he said.

“But I didn’t actually commit to signing it – I got the information and then I just gave up, it wasn’t worth it.

“I would’ve been isolating for two weeks there and then next thing I’d have been back in Melbourne.”

Petrevski-Seton isn’t alone in missing Halls Creek, which has recently punched above its weight in producing AFL footballers.

As of the 2016 census, Halls Creek had a population of 1499 but there are now eight former locals on AFL lists, while cousin Krstel Petrevski is on Melbourne’s AFLW list.

Shane McAdam (Adelaide), Cedric Cox (Brisbane), Toby Bedford (Melbourne), Irving Mosquito (Essendon), Francis Watson (West Coast), Jy Farrar (Gold Coast) and Isaiah Butters (Fremantle) are also pursuing their dreams far from the tiny town.

“There’s something in the water up there,” Petrevski-Seton said.

“Not to brag but I was the first Halls Creek one and it started from there.

“For me to be a role model for them, [I could] show them you can make it if you’re from in and around those areas.

“We’ve got a very strong, talented family and if you put a bit of hard work and commitment into that talent you can get somewhere in life.

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“So for them to sacrifice and make choices to get out of the town like I did and try to see a future in footy – to get out of Halls Creek at a young age and go to school in Perth, or Adelaide or [Melbourne] … will give them a better opportunity to get looked at from a footy point of view.”

Now 65 games into his career, Petrevski-Seton has frequently trained with co-captain Sam Docherty during isolation while off the field he’s finding a balance too.

He is living alone after teammate Harrison Macreadie temporarily returned to NSW.

Normally an avid fisherman, Petrevski-Seton has turned his hand to Indigenous dot art – he’s currently working on his third painting – and playing guitar to fill the hours outside training.

He’s also staying connected with home.

Petrevski-Seton normally returns twice a year for the off-season and Christmas breaks, while for the shorter mid-season bye he meets his family in Broome – avoiding the eight-hour drive to Halls Creek.

“I’ve definitely been missing it,” he said.

“Just the environment – time does move a bit slower back up there, which would have been nice in this time.

“But what makes it easier being down here is I get to FaceTime with family nearly every day and [I see] them through the phone and we speak our language, which is like I’m there with them talking.

“So that makes me not worry about family and home in that time.”

AAP

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