THE half a dozen stitches above Tom Jonas’ eye meant Travis Boak returned to a part of the AFL he happily had left behind.
Jonas’ banged-up face thanks to a collision at training earlier in the day meant the Port Adelaide co-captain wasn’t quite the right look for Thursday’s official launch of the Shanghai game against St Kilda.
So Boak, who stood down as Port captain after six years in the role, returned to his old job at the function.
He definitely owes me,” Boak said.
“But just a little scratch on the head for Tommy – he enjoys that stuff.”
While Boak’s comments were in jest, giving up the captaincy has been good for him.
Amid Port’s inconsistency this season, Boak has returned to a midfield role and has starred.
The two-time All-Australian is probably in career-best form.
“There’s probably a part of that – a little bit less worry,” Boak said of no longer being captain.
“But I’ve probably changed a lot of things in my game, certainly in the mental space.
“I’ve probably let a lot of stuff go and let a lot of control go.
“Now I’m just going out there and playing footy and probably stripping it back a lot more.”
As Boak has learned to let go of the worry, his perspective has changed.
“I’m just loving footy, loving coming into the club and enjoying the environment,” he said.
“Getting paid to play footy – it’s a pretty good job.”
The 253-game veteran was asked what he thinks of his own form this season.
“I feel probably the most comfortable within my game,” he said.
“I’ve changed and learned a lot over the last three or four years in terms of preparation, things like that.
“I’m just going out there and enjoying it and then whether it’s numbers or form, it just takes care of itself.”
© AAP 2019