Born: 24 July 1988
Junior Club: Surfers Paradise
Senior Club: Broadbeach
Schools: Broadbeach Primary, Merrimac SHS.
Queensland: U16 (2004), U18 (2005-06).
Draft Details: Selection #30 (2nd round) 2006 National Draft
AFL Debut: Melbourne v Sydney, SCG, Rd 5, 2007 (28 April)
Jumper Number: 15
AT A GLANCE: Ricky Petterd is a classy Melbourne midfielder/utility who irrespective of what he does in the future will always be remembered as the player who almost died on the ground in just his ninth AFL game in 2007. It was early in the round 14 clash with Carlton at the MCG. He took a heavy early knock and was later found to have suffered a collapsed lung. But for the quick action of Demons medical staff in the rooms shortly afterwards he could have died. He spent eight days in hospital after having a cyst removed from his lung and didn’t play again in his debut season. Still, it had been a first-class entry to AFL football after an equally impressive junior career.
Born in Tasmania, he moved to Queensland with his family aged eight in 1997, playing first at Surfers Paradise and later at Broadbeach, where he played seniors in 2005-06 after debuting as a 16-year-old. He represented Queensland at U16 level in 2004 and U18 level in 2005-06 and was a member of the 2006 AIS/AFL Academy Squad. He was vice-captain of the star-studded Queensland side coached by Craig McRae that won the division two title undefeated at the Australian U18 Championships, where he was further honored with All-Australian selection and the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best & fairest player in division two. Runner-Up to David Armitage in the AFLQ Rising Star Award, he was considered a bargain choice by Melbourne at No.30 in the 2006 National Draft and vindicated these sentiments when he was far and away the best-performed of the 2006 Queensland draftees in the 2007 AFL season. He had 20 possessions on debut against Sydney at the SCG in round 5 and followed with 24 possessions and 14 marks against Port Adelaide the next week to earn a nomination for the AFL’s Rising Star Award.
Despite the shuddering end to his campaign in round 14 he was named ‘Best First-Year Player’. He added only two games in 2008 – Round 1 and Round 22 – in a campaign devastated by injury, but was a senior regular when available in 2009, playing 18 games for 19 goals. Used as a marking forward, half back and occasional midfielder, he kicked a career-best four goals against Port Adelaide in Round 15 and followed up with consecutive possession counts of 22-20-25-24 in Rounds 16-17-18-19 to confirm his standing as an important player in the rebuilding club’s future.