How former St Kilda and Fremantle AFL star gave up farm gathering to take ‘Australia’s worst footy team’ to their first major final – after just TWO wins between 2008-2021
- Albany Sharks play their men’s AFL final in Western Australia on Sunday
- Before the breakout season, Sharks won only TWO games between 2008 and 2021
- Signed former AFL star Brett Peake, 39, and he inspired the playgroup
A former AFL star has called on his experience to guide ‘Australia’s worst footy team’ to their first major final this Sunday.
In a remarkable turnaround, Western Australia’s Albany Sharks will take the decision against Railways Reserves after just two wins between 2008 and 2021.
Club management secured the services of former St Kilda and Fremantle midfielder Brett Peake for this season – and as soon as he pulled the teal Guernsey, fate changed.
The Sharks finished the regular season in fourth place, with eight wins from 15 games.
Their final campaign has been impressive, with victories over the Royals and Mount Barker in recent weeks.
Former St Kilda midfielder Brett Peake joined the struggling Albany Sharks this season – and quickly turned their fortunes around
Peake (pictured right) joined arguably Australia’s worst football team, with the Sharks winning just two games between 2008 and 2021
Minor premiers Railways Tigers stand in their way when it comes to premiership glory, but with Peake on their team sheet, anything is possible.
He showed his class in one game, scoring 13 goals in a huge win over Denmark-Walpole in May.
The son of Geelong and East Fremantle legend Brian Peake also happened to join the club.
He was gathering on a farm in the Pilbara region of Western Australia when he ran into a mate at the pub.
“It’s really kind of random how I ended up here, a buddy of mine I used to play footy against at the WAFL level says ‘do you want to play footy in Albany,'” he told the ABC.
“The next moment I got a call from the Albany Sharks football club and I said yes, let’s try it…and [see] if I can help a club that is struggling – 12 years and only won two games.”
Peake was a standout for the Albury Sharks, scoring 13 goals in one game this season (pictured, playing for the Saints in 2012)
Peake made his AFL debut in Round 13 of 2005 for the Dockers against the Kangaroos
Peake then moved to the south coast of WA with his family – and they are enjoying life in their new environment.
And even better news for the Sharks: they have no plans to move again.
Leading up to the grand final, Peake has stressed to his teammates that there is “no next week” and stated that the side is “ready for the challenge”.
He added that the eagerness of the youngsters to become better footballers is the collective secret of their success.
Coach Jamie Ram is quietly confident ahead of the big dance, pointing out that the team has “come a long way” and that “anything can happen.”
The grand final will be played from 2:30 p.m. from Collingwood Park in Albany.