Travis Boak and Jared Polec get around Sam Powell-Pepper after he kicked a goal in Showdown 44. Picture: SARAH REED
Travis Boak and Jared Polec get around Sam Powell-Pepper after he kicked a goal in Showdown 44. Picture: SARAH REED

Powell-Pepper: how Boak helped me through wake-up call

SAM Powell-Pepper has credited captain and housemate Travis Boak ffor helping improve as a person and a player after the controversy leading to his club-imposed suspension earlier this year.

Powell-Pepper initially received a one-week ban by the club for breaking curfew on April 8 but a complaint from a woman at the nightclub then led to a two-week investigation by the AFL, which was followed by another week's suspension for inappropriately touching a woman.

But Powell-Pepper has since recaptured his early-season form and said the incident had been a wake-up call from which Boak's guidance had been invaluable.

"The decisions I was making weren't really up to the level I was hoping to be, as a mate and a teammate," Powell-Pepper said. "And for Trav, I felt like I was letting him down.

"Living in the same house I felt like I was putting him under a bit of pressure as well.

"Before that … I was taking things as they come.

"It was a bit of a wake-up call."

Boak had to serve two roles during Powell-Pepper's club suspension, the AFL investigation and AFL suspension.

At first, he had to be the captain who meted out discipline, then the mate that helped Powell-Pepper back on track.

"I was the first one to speak to him and that was probably the first time I've really angry with him," Boak said. "I was pretty angry at the time.

"From there it was about helping him as a friend.

"What I've seen is how good a person he was before that, but now that he's learned something and turned it into incredible form, his growth as a person is huge."

In a wide-ranging interview with Fox Footy, the pair talked about what had made them bond so quickly.

Both had hurdles before they reached the AFL: Boak lost his father, Roger, when he was just 16 while Powell-Pepper and his siblings were largely raised by his grandmother in a nomadic upbringing and was the first person from his family to finish high school.

In his words, he felt like he broke a cycle of drugs and alcohol.

"I think you have that instant bond if you go through similar things in life," Boak said. "He's like the brother I never had, too."



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