VFL: Seagulls’ Peter Faulks harbouring AFL hopes
Williamstown Seagulls’ newest leadership group member Peter Faulks could not resist the invitation to continue plying his trade under coach Peter German.
Sure, the Seagulls’ home ground, Burbank Oval, is closer to his Glenroy home than Casey Fields, home of his former Victorian Football League employer Casey Scorpions.
But the 22-year-old will miss car-pooling with old Scorpions teammates James Wall, Rian McGough and Chris Clay, who were originally from the north-west.
“Door to door, it was 150 kilometres,” he says. “That didn’t worry us. Some of the best times we had were in the car.”
When Faulks heard of German signing with the Seagulls, he immediately entertained the prospect of a move to reunite with his coach of the previous 12 months.
“Career-wise, it didn’t worry me either way, to be honest,” he says. “I just wanted to play under ‘Germo’. I’ve got so much respect for him as a coach. He got the best out of me last season. He really challenged me to play my best football.”
Faulks was a welcome addition to the Seagulls’ spine.
The Scorpions would have been devastated to lose a natural leader and last year’s runner-up in the club’s best-and-fairest. Faulks has slotted nicely into the Seagulls’ line-up as a tall defender, mainly used at centre half-back on speedy lead-up forwards, but capable of playing at full-back on the bigger-bodied players.
Faulks, a product of the hugely successful Calder Cannons program in the TAC Cup, was recruited by the Sydney Swans with pick 65 in the 2006 national draft.
Injuries hindered his progress in the first of two seasons in the harbour city.
An injury-free second year saw him feature in a Swans premiership win in the AFL Canberra competition.
Faulks was offered an opportunity to return to the Swans to try out for a rookie-list position, but he chose to play in the VFL and has not looked back.
“I knocked it back and I’ve had no regrets,” he says. “I learned so much when I was up there.”
Faulks has come back a better player and person. He turned from a boy to a man with the guidance of assigned mentor Craig Bolton and former housemate Nick Malcheski.
Faulks still has an intense desire to return to AFL ranks. Meanwhile, he wants to let his footy do the talking with the Seagulls. “I still want to play league footy. I didn’t want to go back and play local footy for the coin. I want to play the best level of footy I can and I’m getting to play on some great players in the VFL.”