WHEN looking at Harrison Petty’s career to date, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was a seasoned professional within the league.

His career spreadsheet includes a premiership, experience working alongside some of the best defenders in the league, a 2022 intercept marking average of 2.5 (among the best in the competition), the list goes on.

But at 23 years old, Petty is only just getting started.

Last season saw the Demon further develop his craft as a dependable defender, with consistency once again a focus heading into his 2023 campaign. 

“When you start getting that continuity in your game, that really starts to build your confidence," Petty told Melbourne Media. 

“I was happy to have that consistency last season and hopefully I can get that going again in 2023.”

Despite his obvious talent and impact within the group, Petty remained humble when talking about his role within the team. 

“I’m a pretty simple guy so I just try and keep it that way by playing my role,” Petty said.

“I’ve got pretty good leaders down back in Jake Lever and Steven May.

“So, I try and let them shine because that’s what they do best and so then I play my role around them.

“Next season, hopefully I can take another step in my game and fit in better with that role in working with them.”

After the 2022 season, the defender took some time away from Melbourne to head back home ahead of the upcoming campaign.

The young Demon hails from a small town in South Australia with a population of approximately 500 people, making his time away from the club particularly refreshing.

“I had a good off-season, I got the chance to go back home to Wudinna and spend some time with my family, which I think was good for me,” Petty said. 

“It’s always nice to get out of the big smoke of Melbourne and get back to a small country town like Wudinna, it was just very refreshing.

“We’ve had a big couple of years as a club, and although last year didn’t go to plan, it was good to get back home and get ready for 2023, where hopefully we can produce some great things.”

On a more personal level, Petty's determined to use his time during pre-season to put in the hard work, so as to return with confidence and consistency come Round 1. 

“Coming off a longer break, I’ve been keen to get back into my footwork practice and to slowly build on my existing strength of marking," Petty said. 

“While coming off that long break it takes a bit to get back into things, I think in the lead up to games I should be really confident in the way I’ve been training and hopefully I can put that into my games in 2023.”