Coach keeps faith in club

Mandurah Coastal Times - - SPORT -

PEEL Thun­der coach Cam Shep­herd has backed the club’s per­for­mance this year and put faith in his young­sters de­spite miss­ing out on fi­nals.

The Thun­der were un­able to make it three ti­tles in a row as they fin­ished sev­enth, one win out­side a fi­nals spot.

How­ever, Shep­herd said he saw this sea­son as a re­build­ing year rather than a com­pet­i­tive one and was happy with his side’s per­for­mance.

“To put the year in per­spec­tive, we’ve been a club for 21 years, we’ve been in the fi­nals for three of those years and were ul­ti­mately suc­cess­ful in three of them,” he said.

“Won seven and lost 11; that’s the equal fifth best year in our his­tory.

“While we wanted to play fi­nals, we see it as a re­build­ing year, there were a lot of in­juries and it was a great opportunity for young play­ers to get games.”

Shep­herd said he was happy with a num­ber of the side’s nu­cleus who proved them­selves through­out the sea­son.

“We beat South Fre­man­tle once, West Perth once and Claremont twice, so we’re still well and truly close to the pack,” he said.

“We’re get­ting games into young play­ers – Jor­dan Boullineau played 14 games, Corey Mor­ris 11, Kee­gan Power played 10 – it’s good for the future of the footy club.”

In­juries at AFL level forced Fre­man­tle Dock­ers to dig into their re­serves, which Shep­herd said took some of the team’s best play­ers away.

“Our best six or seven play­ers played 17, 18 games, but Fre­man­tle’s un­be­liev­able run with in­juries hurt us,” he said.

Peel Thun­der’s Hugh Dixon in ac­tion against East Perth.

Peel Thun­der and Claremont play­ers leap for the ball.

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