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Peel Thunder Football Club

Peel Thunder
Full namePeel Thunder Football Club
2023 season
Home-and-away season3rd (WAFL)
7th (WAFLW)
Club details
Founded1996; 28 years ago (1996)
Colours  Dark blue   White   Teal
CompetitionWest Australian Football League
CoachAdam Read (WAFL)
Captain(s)Ben Hancock (WAFL)
PremiershipsWAFL (2) WAFLW (2)
Ground(s)Rushton Park (capacity: 10,000)
Other information

The Peel Thunder Football Club is an Australian rules football club playing in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and WAFL Women's (WAFLW). The team is based in Mandurah, Western Australia, with their home ground being Rushton Park. The club joined the WAFL as an expansion team in 1997.

Since 2014 Peel have been in a formal alignment with the Fremantle Dockers of the Australian Football League, an arrangement which sees Fremantle's reserve players play for Peel.[1]


Peel Thunder Football Club was formed in 1996 after the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) granted a ninth licence in the WAFL to the Mandurah-Peel region. The licence was issued on the condition that the club be ready to compete in the 1997 Westar Rules season. Geoff Miles was appointed as the club's inaugural coach and Phil Gilbert appointed captain. The Thunder managed just one win in 1997 and finished last on the ladder, with Scott Simister winning the inaugural best and fairest. They managed another one-win season in 1998, before going winless in 1999.

In March 2011, the club was fined $10,000 for breaching salary cap rules involving player payments to midfielder Rory O'Brien during the 2009 season.[2][3]

Between 1997 and 2014, the Thunder failed to qualify for the finals, with their best season coming in 2008 when they recorded an 8–12 win–loss record and a sixth-place finish.[4] During that time, they collected nine wooden spoons, including three in a row twice (1997–99 & 2011–13), and finished second last seven times.

In 2014, Peel became directly aligned with the Fremantle Dockers of the Australian Football League, an arrangement which saw Fremantle's reserve players playing exclusively for Peel in the WAFL for the first time. In 2015, the second season of this arrangement, Peel qualified for the finals for the first time in its history, finishing third on the ladder with a club-best record of 13–7.[5] Due to Fremantle's decision to rest a host of its key AFL players ahead of their finals campaign, the majority of Peel's usual Fremantle contingent was called up for AFL duties, which impacted Peel's ability to field a competitive team against West Perth in the qualifying final. As a result, Peel was blown out of the water by West Perth, losing their first finals game 145–36. Despite regaining many of their Fremantle players for their semi-final clash against East Perth the following week, they were knocked out of the finals with an 84–62 defeat at the hands of the Royals.

In 2016, the Thunder finished the home and away season in fourth place on the ladder with an 11–9 record. Despite a drop off from 2015, Peel headed into the WAFL finals with a huge boost thanks to Fremantle's poor season in 2016. With Fremantle missing the finals in 2016, it provided Peel with a huge contingent of players for their finals campaign. Behind 17 Docker-listed players, the Thunder won three do-or-die finals in a row against East Perth, West Perth and South Fremantle respectively to reach their first ever WAFL grand final. In the grand final, Peel defeated Subiaco by 23 points to win their first WAFL premiership. Peel's midfield had too much running power and grunt inside for Subiaco, with Docker Connor Blakely winning the Simpson Medal on the back of 38 possessions. Fellow Docker Ed Langdon was also an important contributor with 39 disposals, eight marks and a goal.[6]

Peel were a foundation member of the WAFL Women's competition in 2019. The club recorded their first senior women's premiership in the competition in the 2020 season.[7]

Honour board

Season Position Win/loss Finals result Coach Captain Dudley Tuckey Medal Leading goalkicker
1997 9 1–19 DNQ Geoff Miles Phil Gilbert Scott Simister Scott Simister (27)
1998 9 1–19 Geoff Miles
Troy Wilson
Phil Gilbert Darren Bolton Scott Simister (31)
1999 9 0–20 Troy Wilson Scott Simister Scott Simister Scott Simister (54)
2000 8 4–14 Shane Cable Bill Monaghan Vance Davison Dean Buszan (32)
2001 6 7–11 Shane Cable Vance Davison Derek Hall David McPharlin (25)
2002 8 7–11 Peter German Derek Hall Darren Bolton Scott Simister (46)
2003 9 1–19 John Ditchburn Derek Hall Derek Hall Derek Hall (22)
2004 8 5–15 Garry Hocking Brandon Hill Daniel Haines Cameron Gauci (40)
2005 9 3–17 Garry Hocking Grant Welsh Pat Travers Justin Wood (29)
2006 8 6–14 Chris Waterman Grant Welsh Rory O'Brien Dean Buszan (44)
2007 8 5–15 Chris Waterman Grant Welsh Daniel Haines Dean Buszan (30)
2008 6 8–12 Chris Waterman Grant Welsh Hayden Ballantyne Hayden Ballantyne (75)
2009 9 5–15 Chris Waterman Daniel Haines Ben Howlett Kain Robins (33)
2010 8 3–17 Trevor Williams Daniel Haines
Brendon Jones
Rory O'Brien Matthew Battye (27)
2011 9 5–15 Trevor Williams Brendon Jones Kristin Thornton Bradley Holmes (36)
2012 9 5–15 Trevor Williams
Mark Moody
Brendon Jones Brendon Jones Bradley Holmes (52)
2013 9 3–17 Cam Shepherd Brendon Jones Viv Michie Bradley Holmes (33)
2014 8 4–16 Cam Shepherd James Flaherty Brendon Jones Matt Taberner (18)
2015 3 13–7 Semi Finalists Cam Shepherd Brendon Jones Jacob Ballard Leroy Jetta (39)
2016 4 11–9 Premiers Cam Shepherd Gerald Ugle Matt de Boer Gerald Ugle (24)
2017 3 12–8 Premiers Cam Shepherd Gerald Ugle Sam Collins Matt Taberner (41)
2018 7 7–11 DNQ Cam Shepherd Gerald Ugle Danyle Pearce
Ben Howlett
Gerald Ugle
Luke Strnadica (17)
2019 7 7–11 Cam Shepherd Ben Howlett Bailey Banfield Blair Bell (26)
2020 9 0-8 Cam Shepherd Ben Howlett Jackson Merrett Hayden Ballantyne (10)
2021 7 6-12 Cam Shepherd Ben Howlett Tyrone Thorne Blair Bell (19)
2022 5 11-7 Semi Finalists Geoff Valentine Ben Hancock Lloyd Meek Blair Bell (24)
2023 3 12-6 Runners Up Geoff Valentine Ben Hancock Blair Bell Sebit Kuek (25)


Club honours

Competition Level Wins Years won
WAFL Seniors 2 2016, 2017
WAFL Women's Seniors 2 2020, 2021
WAFL Reserves Reserves 0 Nil
WAFL Colts Colts (U19) 2 2004, 2005
Other titles and honours
Rodriguez Shield Multiple 0 Nil
Finishing positions
WAFL Minor premiership 0 Nil
Runners Up 1 2023
Wooden spoons 10 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2020

Individual honours


  • Highest score: Round 11, 2001 – 23.11 (149) vs. Swan Districts at Bendigo Bank Stadium
  • Lowest score (official): Round 1, 2004 – 0.0 (0) vs. Claremont at Rushton Park – the team's on-field score of 10.10 (70) was annulled for playing Peter Bird with an invalid permit
  • Lowest score (on-field) : Round 16, 2016 – 1.5 (11) vs. West Perth
  • Greatest winning margin: Round 6, 2024 – 113 points vs. West Perth at Lane Group Stadium
  • Greatest losing margin: Round 3, 1999 – 195 points vs. South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval


AFL draftees

The following is a list of Peel Thunder players who have been drafted to clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL). Players currently on an AFL list are listed in bold:

Draft Pick Player Drafted by
1998N 10 Brandon Hill West Coast
1999R 2 Darren Bolton Fremantle
2000R 49 Dale Walkingshaw Fremantle
2001R 4 Dean Buszan West Coast
36 Daniel Haines Fremantle
2002N 2 Daniel Wells North Melbourne
2003N 4 Farren Ray Western Bulldogs
2005R 5 Ryan Nye Adelaide
40 Ashley Thornton West Coast
2005N 20 Paul Bower Carlton
28 Matt Riggio North Melbourne
54 Kristin Thornton Sydney
2006N 2 Scott Gumbleton Essendon
38 James Hawksley Brisbane Lions
47 Kyle Reimers Essendon
52 Brock O'Brien Fremantle
2007R 18 Danny Chartres Essendon
2008N 21 Hayden Ballantyne Fremantle
2009R 12 Kristin Thornton Sydney
42 Johnny Bennell Collingwood
2009N 4 Anthony Morabito Fremantle
25 Aaron Black North Melbourne
2010R 20 Ben Howlett Essendon
2010N 2 Harley Bennell Gold Coast
2011P 2 Blayne Wilson West Coast
2011R 48 Kelvin Lawrence Melbourne
2012N 31 Kamdyn McIntosh Richmond
2015R 24 Brad Walsh Carlton
2017N 9 Aaron Naughton Western Bulldogs
2018R 12 Durak Tucker Sydney
2019R 6 Jarvis Pina Fremantle
2020N 57 Isiah Winder West Coast
2021N 31 Brady Hough West Coast
2021R 36 Sandy Brock Gold Coast



  1. ^ Quartermaine, Braden (31 October 2012). "West Coast and Fremantle will enter WAFL alignments from 2013". Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Peel Thunder fined $10,000 for salary cap breach". 16 March 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  3. ^ Lewis, Ross (16 March 2011). "Peel pay high price for cap breach". The West Australian. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  4. ^ Coleman-Heard, Rory (29 September 2016). "The 'Thunder Connection'". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  5. ^ Pike, Chris (5 September 2015). "McDonald's WAFL Qualifying Finals Preview". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  6. ^ Pike, Chris (25 September 2016). "Fremantle-boosted Peel Thunder wins historic WAFL premiership after downing Subiaco". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Peel crowned Optus WAFLW Premiers". WA Football. 19 September 2020.
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Peel Thunder Football Club
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