AFL Superstar Christian Petracca On Premierships, Watches, & Overcoming Injury

AFL Superstar Christian Petracca On Premierships, Watches, & Overcoming Injury

Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon


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The off-season for Christian Petracca might have come early this year, but that doesn’t mean the electric Melbourne Football Club forward will be sitting on the couch, following the announcement of his freshly inked partnership with Kennedy Watches & Jewellery. Boss Hunting had the opportunity to sit down with the 2021 Premiership-winning player recently to hear about the recent injury he’s had to overcome, his plans for the rest of the break, and the watch he’ll be wearing at the Brownlow Medal ceremony on Sunday night.

Petracca has always been an excellent athlete. Even before he hit his teenage years, the talented footballer represented Victoria playing AFL, as well as playing for Australia on the basketball court in the under-17 squad alongside current Utah Jazz player Dante Exum. It wasn’t till his last years of high school that he returned his focus back to the footy field, where he was recruited by Melbourne as the #2 pick in the 2014 AFL draft.

There was significant hype about Petracca’s debut at the AFL level, where it was speculated that he would play his first game in the opening round of the 2015 season, but a ruptured ACL while training meant he would miss the entire season. This year gave Petracca a period to regroup and refocus, taking the time to get his body back to where he needed it to be, setting him up to play his first game at the highest level of the game in Round 6 of the 2016 season.

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RELATED: AFL Star Christian Petracca Just Levelled Up His Watch Game

Petracca’s progress as a footballer almost hasn’t slowed since, becoming an integral part of the Demons starting 22 and saving his best for the biggest moments, winning the Norm Smith medal for the best player in the 2021 AFL Grand Final where Melbourne was crowned Premiers. The Premiership defence was cut short for Melbourne in 2022, but Petracca is already focusing on next season to take back the title. Let’s get into it.

How have you had to modify your training after your leg injury against Sydney?

Christian Petracca: So I had a hairline fracture in my last few games and it was pretty frustrating. It was an injury that I’ve never experienced before, but while it wasn’t awesome, I really enjoyed the experience of focusing on the game with a strong distraction, so I had to focus on my reset tools and my mental cues.

Throughout the week, it was all about that recovery, so it was all the ice, resting it, and getting it moving. I also go to this place called the Spinal Studio, where they do cryotherapy and I get the body down to minus 160, 150 degrees for about three minutes. So I did that every day, along with massages, just to try to get all the swelling out of my leg.

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Did you have any issues with it on game day? 

CP: No, not really, to be honest. I did here and there, but no. Once you’re in the game, once the adrenaline kicks in, you’re pretty focused on the footy.

Do you recall a moment in time when it clicked for you exactly how hard you had to work to be a good AFL player?

CP: I’ve always sort of known what it takes to be an AFL player. In my first year, I did my ACL and that’s probably when I realized the fitness level that I need to get to and the commitment I needed. 

That was when I was 19, 20 years old. I was out for the whole year in rehab and it was a really difficult time, probably more from a mental point of view because of being away from the game. I was a 19-year-old kid and I’ve got a lot of energy so it was kind of tough from that point of view too. But I think looking back on it, it was probably the best thing for me able to focus on my body for another year, get fit and switch my mind back on.

What sort of things do you do away from the club to prepare yourself to play? And how many hours a week would you be doing training of some description that is not club-sanctioned?

CP: I do a fair bit of training at the club. We do a lot in terms of main training, we do a footy session, we do a bit of craft, we do a fair bit of weights. But then away from the game day, it’s all about recovery. So I do a lot of recovery sessions, like yoga and pilates. I got a reformer at home and I go to this pilates little studio just at the top of my street and I absolutely love it. 

On top of that, it’s a lot of beach recovery and massages just because in the season it’s all about getting yourself fresh for the next game. Whereas in pre-season it’s all about the grind, it’s all about backing up each session.

How aware are you of your legacy in the game?

CP: My legacy, oh geez, I wouldn’t say I have a legacy at all, to be honest. I mean, I’ve won individual accolades and won a premiership, but I wouldn’t say I have a legacy in the game. I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and for me, it’s not about individual awards or all that stuff, it’s about the team. For me, I get satisfaction out of that. And I’m just trying to improve off the field and on the field as much as I can.

Is Clayton Oliver the best midfielder in the game? If so, why?

CP: Yeah, I definitely think so. He’s up there, but we’ve got so many great midfielders in our team. Why? His hands around stoppages are unbelievable. His ability to work contest to contest and he’s just very clean with the footy. 

Have you got a watch picked out to wear at the Brownlow?

CP: Yeah, I do, I’m wearing a Cartier watch which will be absolutely beautiful. I’m super excited to wear that. The range that Kennedy’s got is awesome so I’m just pumped to be able to choose a watch that sort of fits the suit that I’m wearing.

Who’s your go-to tailor?

CP: It’s Hugo Boss.

Talk about your personal style a little bit.

CP: I like to change it up, to be honest, I don’t really have a set style. I like wearing long pants, generally a bit baggier, longer tees, that sort of American look to be honest. Long jumpers, I love that sporty look. But then I feel like I have the option of going quite formal too and I love dressing up. I’ve always got to wear my Nike sneakers though. Always need to wear dunks or some sort of Jordans.

As far as watches, at the moment I’m rocking the IWC Top Gun watch that I got from Kennedy, and I absolutely love it. It’s so awesome and just the best thing about it is that it just goes with any outfit that I’m wearing.

Obviously, you’re rocking the Cartier for the Brownlow, but is that the one you always pick out when you’ve got a big event that you’re dressing up for? 

CP: Oh, I’ve definitely got options. I mean there are so many brands that Kennedy has, which is great for me especially as we come up to the Spring Racing Carnival, which I’m looking forward to attending this year.

Who has the best watch collection at the footy club?

CP: Christian Salem has a couple of really nice pieces, and Max Gawn is another guy who’s into it too. There are a fair few boys who are really into their watches. 

We see a lot of EPL managers wearing pricey watches – do you think the AFL coaches need to step up their game and what would you pick out for your coach?

CP: Yeah, I hope so, I reckon that’d be awesome. I mean, Kennedy is the official timekeeper of the AFL, so I know my coach would love to get into it, maybe wear something nice on the sideline. For him, it’d have to be a Rolex or something. It’s a tough one. 

How did the relationship between Christian Petracca and Kennedy Watches come about? What are you going to be doing with them over the next couple of years?

CP: With Kennedy, I’ve always wanted to be involved with a high-level retailer and when they became the official timekeeper of the AFL, they were looking for an ambassador. I felt like we both were looking for each other and I’m just super excited to work with them. They’re such a great brand to be a part of.

We’ll definitely have some stuff coming up. Obviously, the Brownlow is around the corner, so we’ll have some nice watches for my partner and me. Then obviously the races coming up too, so it’s going to be busy. 

If you can clinch another Premiership in 2023, what watch are you buying to commemorate the win?

CP: That’s a good question. I haven’t really thought of anything for the win we had last year, to be honest, but I might need to. I think the club’s organising some rings, which will be really cool. Like some Premiership rings.

That’d be fantastic. Like the NBA or NFL championship rings?

CP: Not to the NBA level but they’ll be up there I hope!

This article is sponsored by Kennedy. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Boss Hunting.

Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)



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