The Land of Opportunity – Peel Thunder

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - 12:49 PM

Dreams became a reality for the three local talents selected in the AFL National Draft last night as Mitch Edwards, Clay Hall & Reece Torrent were all picked up in the second night of the 2023 AFL draft. However The top-flight bound trio are just the tip of the iceberg for Peel Thunder Alumni who are seizing opportunities from their time at the Club.

The Club is a hub for opportunities within the region and beyond. Throughlines from Peel Community Football Clubs to the highest levels are also evident off the pitch, with former Thunder Head Coach Geoff Valentine & Football Manager Matt Rosa both accepting roles within the AFL system. 


There have been plenty of Peel trainers & coaching staff who have taken the next step after cutting their teeth at Lane Group Stadium. Ethan Norris takes the reins as WAFLW Head Coach, while Troy Lovegrove and Mick Glassborough have found a focus on developing WA's youth Football talent. Lovegrove moves into the 2024 season and beyond as Colts Head Coach at Baldivis while Glassborough will take the helm as the state 16's Coach. 


Sam Skinners internal shift to Football Manager at Peel has been another cause to celebrate, his excitement however is focused on the support and success that can be found regionwide.

"We believe Peel Thunder is the most connected and professional club in the WAFL, from the top down, we back in our people and genuinely want to see them succeed. 2024 will be no different."


"The strong relationships we have with our South West and Metro clubs are crucial, we thank them for their support and providing fantastic characters and footballers to Peel Thunder."

"Along with our entire coaching and support staff, I’d also like to thank State Talent Manager, Adam Jones and South West Talent Manager, Jamie Douse for supporting our state academy boys this season.”

Having worked closely with The Thunders 2023 Draftees during his time as Talent Manager Skinner was proud of the boys' efforts.

"Mitch had the desire to test himself against mature rucks and defenders for his final 3 months of football in 2023, while Reece and Clay both played League football in a super competitive midfield. This shows their determination to leave no stone unturned and Peel Thunder as a club, to back in our boys in providing them the best opportunity to succeed."

"Mitch, Clay and Reece, along with their families are proud Peel Thunder people. We couldn’t be happier for each one of them. They have worked tirelessly to reach this point and they deserve every inch of success in the future, our entire club and our zone are right behind them!”

Peel Thunder Football Director Chris Fairman echoed Skinners sentiments, highlighting as well the opportunities for the staff at the Thunder.

"The PTFC is proud to be a club of opportunity, with our strong connections to our Peel and Southwest communities we have been able to provide players and staff a great opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally."

"With 3 players drafted this year, this is an outstanding achievement for our club and all the personnel involved that helped these boys get to this point. Recent staff moves have seen Matt Rosa go from GM of Football into a list management role with Essendon FC, Geoff Valentine has moved from Senior coach at PTFC to a Head of Operations and development role with FFC, Sam Skinner has moved from Talent Manager at PTFC to GM of Football at PTFC, all of these staff changes have come about through development in their roles with PTFC.”

There were few people prouder than Colts Head Coach Danny Chartres at the conclusion of last night's Draft.

"Firstly, you must credit the individuals themselves. To Mitch, Clay and Reece, their hard work, commitment and resilience has allowed them to develop at a rate that fosters growth and gotten them into these sorts of positions."


"I can’t speak highly enough of each individual as there has been many moments over the past couple of years where I have been in awe of how they go about their business. Sometimes you just count yourself lucky to be a part of their journey."

"If there is anyone out there inspired by these young men, look no further. But look in the places where most don’t. Most would see three players with great sporting ability and talent, which is without saying."


"What we should be celebrating is the personality and character that Mitch, Clay and Reece show. Three great people who deserve everything they get. Great people are deserving of great opportunity and that’s what we should be celebrating. Good luck on the next phase gents, we are all right behind you!

The club is immensely proud of our drafted players and our staff who are taking their next steps within and beyond Peel Thunder.