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.