WAFL world salutes Brendon Jones on 200 games

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 2:29 PM - by Alex Paull

BRENDON Jones admits he isn’t the flashiest of players, but the commitment of the tireless midfielder has been a feature of his 200-game career at both Peel Thunder and Perth.

The Peel skipper will celebrate his milestone at Bendigo Bank Stadium against East Fremantle on Saturday, and the following week against East Perth he will carve himself a slice of history when he becomes just the fourth man to play 100 games for two clubs.

Jones’ foray into the WAFL started at the Demons in 2004 as an 18-year-old from Quairading, and after a taste of senior football in his first season, Jones showed rare goal sense in a break-out year in 2005, booting 23 goals from 20 games.

Reflecting on the early part of his career, Jones said he never imagined he would become a 200-game player; however the lack of team success and no finals games are two gaping holes in a glittering resume.

“You play your first games, you find your feet, and after a lot of hard work and as years go by, you find yourself playing 200 games so it’s quite surreal,” Jones said.

“It definitely goes quick. You get used to the training loads and the requirements of WAFL football, and you expect it on a weekly basis, so it’s been a good journey.”

His ball-winning exploits at the Demons soon attracted plenty of attention, and in 2008 he won Perth’s best and fairest as a 22-year-old.

Jones switched to Peel in 2010 and made an immediate impact with consecutive runner-up finishes in the Thunder’s best and fairest, before landing his first Tuckey Medal in 2012.

The sustained consistency has meant that since moving from Perth, Jones has finished in the top two placings for five consecutive seasons.

The time Jones spent at both Perth and Peel outlined two different phases of his career: a youngster finding his feet at Perth and an experienced and hardened leader at the Thunder.

“I learned a lot about my football at Perth and what it took to play at the WAFL level, and then it was at Peel where I took another step in terms of leadership roles,” he said.

Those leadership roles saw Jones first assume the Thunder captaincy from Daniel Haines in 2010 until 2014 when James Flaherty took over.

Having regained the captaincy this season, Jones said he enjoyed the responsibility of leading a young team.

“It’s a big responsibility, and all the younger guys are trying to learn off you, but you try lead in the right way and be there for the young guys to talk to, as well as focusing on performing on a Saturday,” he said.

“When I first took on the captaincy, I was learning [about leadership] as I went along, but now I’m not putting that pressure on myself, and having Eddie Dann, Josh Bootsma and Leroy Jetta in the leadership group as well has been really helpful.”

Remarkably, Jones announced his retirement after the 2013 season, but was soon talked out of it by coach Cam Shepherd.

Jones went on to take out the 2014 Tuckey Medal and cement his status as one of the more professional and hardworking midfielders in the competition.

“After Christmas I sat down with Shep and my family, and I was missing it. The drive to play finals with Peel was a driving factor, and now I feel as fit as ever.”

Jones is yet to miss a game since Round 1 2011, and he puts his durability down to “a bit of luck”.

“I’ve always thought I’ve been lucky to not have any substantial injuries, and I pride myself on my preparation, hard work and rehab throughout the week, so if you get all those things right you give yourself every opportunity to play every week.”

Having looked football mortality in the face, Jones is now happy to take every game as it comes, but believes he has never been fitter, and with the Fremantle alignment in full swing, the lure of a maiden finals berth with Peel remains.

“I think once you finish your career you can reflect on it, but we need to win a few games this year and hopefully finish off by playing finals footy,” he said.

And he is hoping 2015 is the year that will see Peel breakthrough for its first finals appearance.

“If you look at last year, we lost 8-10 games by less than 20 points, we’ve got some new players in but we’re comfortable with the guys from Fremantle, and the young guys we’ve got coming through the development system add another dimension to our list,” Jones said.
And being a country lad at heart, Jones’ career highlights are simple, and it reflects the humble persona that has commanded the respect from the entire competition.

“When we have a win, you sing the song with your mates and really enjoy their company, and that’s what footy’s about for me,” he said.


Games played: 199                         Peel Thunder – 98           Perth – 101

WAFL Debut                                     Peel – 2010                        Perth – 2004

Peel captain 2010-13, 2015-

Perth Club Champion 2008, Peel Club Champion 2012 & 2014, Runner-up Peel Club Champion 2010, 2011 & 2013. 

Peel fall short in opening encounter

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 9:32 AM - by Alex Paull

A PEEL side brimming with Fremantle talent has fallen seven points short of opening its account against West Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday.

A six-goal third quarter from the Falcons proved the difference, as the home side overcame Peel’s half-time lead to run out 13.6 (84) to 11.11 (77) winners.

The loss extended Peel’s losing streak against the Falcons to eight, although the past three losses were all single-figure margins.

Both sides started strongly in an entertaining first quarter, with West Perth’s accuracy in front of goal contrasting Peel’s inability to capitalise on opportunities to establish an early dominance.

A strong second term saw the Thunder capture a half-time lead thanks to four consecutive goals, before the Falcons responded in the second half with six unanswered goals to set up a 20-point advantage by the final change.

Danyle Pearce and 18-year-old debutant Nathan Fahey kept the Thunder in the contest with consecutive majors in the final quarter; however the Falcons managed to hold on for a tight win.

Connor Blakely showed he is ready for an AFL berth, belying his age and experience to lead the Peel midfield with 30 touches, and he was supported ably by the likes of Michael Barlow (23 disposals) and skipper Brendon Jones (21 touches).

The midfield battle was pivotal to the Falcon’s comeback in the third quarter, and Andrew Strijk (38 touches), Shane Nelson (32 possessions) and Sandover Medallist Aaron Black (30 touches) were prolific in supplying Victorian recruit Michael Lourey with opportunities, and he capitalised with four goals.

Although the Fremantle talent at the Thunder’s disposal was enviable, the emergence of Fahey and fellow debutant Brayden Lawler (13 touches, one goal) showed growing depth at Peel.

Gerald Ugle also made his first appearance as a Peel player, and he showed the class that could make him a vital acquisition this season.

The Thunder will regroup and will aim to celebrate captain Brendon Jones’ 200th game in style when it takes on East Fremantle on Easter Saturday at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

RIP Bazzo

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 5:35 PM

On behalf of the Board, staff, members and Playing group of the Peel Thunder Football club, it is with great sadness to hear the sudden passing of a club legend in Steve Bazzo.

Steve was an inaugural player with Peel in 1997 and was made a  life member in 2007.  Steve had recently returned to the club this year as a development coach with our under 16’s.

Steve will be sorely missed by all at the club and within the football community.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out Kylie (former club CEO), Daughter Kameron, Son Rhett, family and friends.


John Ditchburn


Hogsbreath School Holiday Clinic

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 4:15 PM - by Shae Hardie

Join Hogster, Fremantle Docker players and Peel Thunder Players for the April School Holiday Clinics. 

8th Apirl - 9am - 1.30pm - 6-12 year olds. 

Morning Tee, Lunch , Clinic and gifts included. 

Book in today - 9535 3448 

Dont forget to wear your footy jumper! 


New Adventures for Peel and MAPTO

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 1:32 PM - by Alex Paull

PEEL Thunder has linked up with the Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation and the City of Mandurah as its new Community Partner, in a deal for the next two years.

The deal was announced by Thunder CEO Bill Kostandas, MAPTO CEO Steven Hollë on Thursday evening.

The Thunder is the Peel region’s premier sporting team, and the new deal represents a major coup for the City of Mandurah, MAPTO and the Thunder.

Throughout the 2015 and 2016 seasons players will sport the Anytime Adventures logo on the chest of their jumpers, with the logo to be seen by thousands of spectators in the WAFL home and away games.

The sponsorship also includes signage at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

In conjunction with the support of major sponsors Bendigo Bank Halls Head Community Branch and Mandurah Holden, Kostandas said the club’s newest major community partner was a natural fit for the 2015 season.

“This year the club has again welcomed the support of a wide cross section of the local business community,” Kostandas said.

“Having the joint support of MAPTO and the City of Mandurah we can promote the Anytime Adventures message to everyone who comes to our games, both home and away and also on free to air commercial television with two home games and two away games featuring Peel Thunder on Channel 7.

“For all the fans in the WAFL, the trip to Mandurah deserves to be chance to not only catch your team playing in one of the best venues in the competition, but chance to also enjoy a quality short break and discover some great Anytime Adventures across Mandurah and the Peel region. We also want to get the message out to the local folk that they can have a holiday in one of the most beautiful destinations in Australia and it is located right on their doorstep.”

Hollë said the Thunder would make great ambassadors for the campaign message, which is about discovering the great adventures in the Peel region

“Whilst our marketing is targeted towards the capital city population of Perth, encouraging them to take advantage of how close the Peel region is for an easy getaway, this sponsorship also helps present our message to local residents, reminding them there are some great things to see and do so close to home,” Mr Hollë said.

“We have some outstanding adventures here on our doorstep and through this sponsorship we are also keen to see locals from around the region also discover what is in their own backyard.”

The new jumpers will be worn by the team throughout the 2015 season, with a minimum of 10 games to be played at home at Bendigo Bank Stadium and two to be televised on Channel 7 in July and August. 

Long trip to get 2015 underway for Thunder

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 9:45 AM - by Alex Paull



PEEL has its eye on opening the 2015 season in the best way possible, however it will have to contend with the longest trip in WAFL football when it takes on West Perth at HBF Arena tomorrow.

The Thunder’s record at Joondalup isn’t good, with only two wins from 19 games.

 However the young side will be boosted by the presence of Fremantle superstars Michael Barlow and Paul Duffield who will look to impose themselves on the contest ahead of Fremantle’s Round 1 clash with Port Adelaide.

Peel’s backline is also in good shape, and great things are expected of young leader Josh Bootsma, who looks set to line up on Falcons young gun Nic Rodda, while Tanner Smith and Alex Pearce are other tall options in defence.

It is also the first time Peel will see the likes of hyped talents Lachie Weller and Connor Blakely in the Thunder jumper, while boom recruit Gerald Ugle will also make his debut.

Across two games, a mere 10 points separated the two sides last year, with the Thunder failing to capitalise on a 42-point half-time lead to fall one-point short of the Falcons at HBF Arena in Round 8 courtesy of a late Anthony Tsalikis goal.

And in the last clash between the two sides, the Falcons held off a fast-finishing Thunder to triumph by 9 points at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Round 21.

The key for the Thunder in this game will be to quell the influence of prolific on-ballers Shane Nelson, Rohan Kerr and Sandover Medallist Aaron Black, but the presence of Barlow, Duffield, Danyle Pearce and Brendon Jones should make for an interesting contest.

West Perth will be looking to bounce back from their 35-point loss to South Fremantle last Friday, but the Thunder has the class to push the Falcons and will be looking to avenge last year’s two harrowing losses.

PEEL side



A Pearce

T Smith

E Dann


B Grey

J Bootsma

E Hughes


P Duffield

M Barlow

C Blakely


G Ugle

M Apeness

M Duffy


L Weller

J Hannath

J Deluca


J Griffin

D Pearce

B Jones


C Sylvia, J Ballard, B Lawler, J Mathers, B Gillam, M Gill, E Langdon,



Photos : Coni Forrestall 

Official WAFL App launched for 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015 - 12:15 PM

Official WAFL App launched for 2015

The West Australian Football League has increased its digital presence with a new free Official WAFL App.

Fans are encouraged to search for ‘WAFL Official’ in the App store to download the Official WAFL App. This App offers significantly more than unofficial WAFL Apps currently in the market.

The Official WAFL App provides fans with a full range of live stats, scores, ladders and results for League matches as well as player profiles and the latest WAFL news.

The App also allows fans to engage with the 7 Network broadcast and vote live on the reiwa.com Goal of Round, AHG Mark of the Round and Player of the Match.

Fans can also save their favourite team’s fixtures direct to their digital calendar and engage with club and league social media by ‘checking-in’ to the various venues and uploading photos.

Functionality for the WAFL Reserves and Colts RediMed Cup competitions will also be added when the season commences.

Simply download the free Official WAFL App to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad from the iTunes App Store or to your Android smartphone or tablet from the Google Play Store.








The WAFL mobile site www.wafl.com.au will continue to provide live scores and stats for all WAFL matches.

Photo: Cofo Foto


Season launch a success

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:53 AM - by Alex Paull

PEEL’S 2015 campaign has officially kicked off with another successful season launch at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday night.

The evening featured the popular Player Auction, where tables bid on groups of players to win money throughout the season.

The auction raised $20,000, which is a fantastic effort, while the Corporate Classic first prize was a lucrative package worth approximately $20,000 won by Mandurah Mail.

An all-new leadership group was also introduced to the Peel Thunder faithful, led by stalwart and reigning Tuckey Medallist Brendan Jones.

Jones, who is in his second stint as skipper, will be deputised by classy utility Eddie Dann, while boom recruit Leroy Jetta and defender Josh Bootsma round out the leadership group.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd said the club was excited to build on the positive steps made in the latter half of last season.

“We’re looking forward to a really exciting time in 2015, we are young but we are enthusiastic and have enormous belief in ourselves,” Shepherd said.

“We see a real passion throughout the club, from the Under 16s through the Colts program, which is being run very professionally, and into our group.”

New Colts captain Sam Shackles and his leadership group were also introduced to the audience, as they look to improve on last year’s wooden spoon finish.

While the final scratch match resulted in a disappointing loss for Peel, the club remains upbeat about its chances for success in 2015.

Photograph; Coni Forrestdale 

Tough loss sours 2015 preparations

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 9:44 AM - by Alex Paull

Tough loss sours 2015 preparations

PEEL’S final preparations for 2015 have taken a blow, suffering a 115-point thrashing at the hands of Claremont in the final scratch match of the season at Bendigo Bank Stadium.

The Thunder was no match for the strong Claremont outfit, who stamped their authority early with eight goals in the first term while keeping the hosts goalless.

Despite Peel hitting back with the first goal of the second, the margin drifted out to 14 goals by half time, with the Tigers rampant out of the middle and pouncing on turnovers.

The rain tightened up the contest in the third, with no goals for the first 17 minutes, but the drying conditions was met with a string of Claremont goals to take the margin over 100 points.

As in the third, the contest was tough for the opening 15 minutes of the last quarter, however the class of Claremont showed with a hat trick of goals to run out 24.12 (159) to 6.8 (44) winners.

But the sight of young Carey Park recruit Brayden Lawler dragging down an opponent to set up a goal pointed to where the Thunder could improve this year.

Lawler showed strong endeavor in his second hit out for the club, and could be pushing for selection in Round 2.

Boom recruit Gerald Ugle also showed glimpses of his immense talent, while Josh Mathers looks set to make the back pocket his own this year with a typically hard-nosed display.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd said while the result was not ideal; it was another important step for the young group ahead of the home and away season.
“We had a very young side out there today, and it was very important for those guys to get a taste of what the level is like,” Shepherd said.

“I have enormous faith in our younger group, and I’m sure they will repay it as time goes by.”
While the large loss stung, Shepherd said the focus was now on making 2015 a successful year.

“The practice games are over, there were some stern words spoken [after the game], we expect 100% effort and we won’t deviate from that.

“But the season really starts now and we’re very excited.”

With the bye in the first round, Peel will kick off the 2015 WAFL Premiership season by tackling West Perth in Joondalup in Round 2.

The Thunder will be bolstered by an influx of Dockers players when they face the Falcons, but strong pre-seasons from a number of young

players will mean competition for spots will be hot.


Photographs: Coni Forrestdale 

Pre Season v Swans

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 3:34 PM - by Andrew Mcbean

Season 2015 is underway with the pre-season fixture against Swan Districts at Bassendean Oval our first hit out and finally the opportunity for our coaches, support staff and players to compete against another club. It has been a long pre-season campaign and now we can gauge how that has tracked.

With the availability of extended benches, selection wasn’t too difficult with the colts playing 37 players, reserves 27 and league 25 players. Only a few injured players missing this weekend with no long term injury’s at the moment.

The colts began the day with some exciting football as both side used the football with clean skills, hard running and strong marking. A new coaching group led by Beau Wardman show cased the talent we have at Peel Thunder in season 2015. We look forward with interest the pathway some of these players will take at Peel Thunder Football Club and beyond.

The Reserves saw about 60% of the team never play in the WAFL competition before and this was an exciting experience for them to see where they were at after a good pre-season campaign. The first quarter they certainly knew this was a step up and too their credit they responded and showed they have the skills to match teams in this competition. Once again a new coaching team led by Mark Pink knows the role they play in developing the next group of senior players at the club.

The league led by Cam Shepherd played an exciting brand of football with several new players to the club playing their first league game and WAFL game. This was a wonderful reward for a solid pre-season along with some young talent coming through the club. Our alignment with Fremantle was well supported with 12 players representing the Peel Thunder Football Club on the weekend.

Continue to support the football club as we look forward to seeing you all next weekend (14/3/15) at Bendigo Bank Stadium as we play Claremont followed by our season launch after the league game in the Platinum Room.