Jack Petruccelle at West Coast's team photo day on February 1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

WEST Coast speedster Jack Petruccelle hopes a detailed off-season program designed to improve his flexibility can help him leave his soft-tissue injuries behind after emerging as the club's standout summer performer. 

Petruccelle has turned heads on the track during an uninterrupted pre-season, standing out with his improved running capacity, attack on the contest, and line-breaking ability.  

The 22-year-old's progress has excited West Coast after his 2020 season was ruined by a sever hamstring tear, and multiple soft tissue setbacks prevented him from gaining momentum last year. 

It prompted Petruccelle to link up with a fitness coach in the off-season who specialised in movement and mobility, completing a program that has left him more flexible and confident in his hamstrings.   

Jack Petruccelle at West Coast training in late January, 2022. Picture: westcoasteagles.com.au

"A guy called Jake Lalich wrote me up a really nice program that had me doing something every single day to improve that," Petruccelle told AFL.com.au.

"Sit and reach was the main test for me, and I did improve and could feel my flexibility getting better. 

"It's something I've never gone above and beyond with before, so I decided to have a play with that and see how that would look for me, just to hopefully strengthen my body, improve my flexibility a little bit, and hopefully steer clear of any soft tissue injuries this year. 

"That was a big goal of mine and the area that myself and a couple of the coaches and physios pinpointed that was going to be pretty important to hopefully stay injury free."

The program has given Petruccelle confidence in his hamstrings as practice matches draw closer, knowing he had done the work to improve his strength and flexibility. 

But his improved running ability, which has helped him get involved in the play more as a half-forward in match simulation, was the result of something else. 

West Coast's Jack Petruccelle in action during round 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Unable to return home to Victoria during the off-season due to Western Australia's border arrangements, Petruccelle teamed up with tall Eagles Bailey Williams and Harry Edwards and defender Tom Cole for regular training sessions. 

Defender Alex Witherden and midfielder Xavier O'Neill were others who joined the group regularly, but it was Cole's involvement as one of the club's leading runners that appeared to have a big impact. 

"I was running with Coley and he runs all day. He's as fit as anything and was good for me," Petruccelle said.  

"It's been good competing with him after having a really good block of training with him, and I feel like I've improved my fitness to where I can keep up with him for the most part. 

"The boys that were with us, particularly Bailey Williams and Harry Edwards, they're performing really well on the track. 

"It's that baseline we set for ourselves, we did every session and we pushed each other through it, so it's really showing for those two."

Petruccelle said his goal in 2022 was to become more consistent, having last year enjoyed standout games like his four-goal performance against St Kilda in round four but other matches where he struggled to get involved. 


He was using forward line teammates Liam Ryan and Jamie Cripps as examples to follow, with Ryan's line-breaking speed and instincts, and Cripps' ability to put in repeat efforts all match.     

"I know for me, when I have my better games, it's when my running is better. It's when I'm using my speed more, getting my hands on the footy, and taking the game on," he said. 

"It's the consistency I need to find. I need to be able to use my speed every single game and break more lines than I have in the past. 

"I just want to be consistent and a reasonable player even when I'm a bit off, so hopefully I can take that into this year.”