by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Growing up in Perth, Brian Peake's hero was a pro surfer named Ian Cairns. He spent much of his time hitching rides to the beaches and the waves. He credits his surfing days for the body strength needed for AFL football. That strength also saw him avoid hamstring and groin injuries. “I believe that's where it set me up with the strength and for recovery. I never had a hamstring, didn't even know what they were. Knees, groins, it never happened. So the saltwater must do something for you.'' Two weeks after a failed tryout with Perth in an intra-club game, Peake was recruited to East Fremantle. As his career took off, he had to fend off offers from VFL (now AFL) teams. In 1981, at the age of 27, he finally decided to give the VFL a try to test himself and believes he would have regretted it if he had not. He chose Geelong thinking the lifestyle there would be the closest to that of Perth. Officials met him at the airport with a helicopter to fly him to his first training session. After just 13 games with the Cats, he was appointed captain.