Peel retain Shepherd
Cam Shepherd. Pic: Niall Boyle/WA News

Cam Shepherd has unfinished business at Peel and will be given the chance to become the club's first finals coach after his contract was last night extended for another year.

The Thunder and Fremantle were eager to keep Shepherd at the helm of the Dockers' alignment club after being satisfied with the direction and relationship of the two player groups.

"We have made some inroads this season and we are just looking to continue to improve," Shepherd said.

"There won't be too many changes other than building on what we have developed already, being as competitive as we can be and trying to give the club some semblance of success."

Peel chief executive Bill Kostandas said Shepherd's reappointment was inevitable after both clubs assessed the Thunder's progression this year.

Peel have failed to play finals in their first 17 seasons and will finish outside the top four again this year. But bolstered by an average of 13 Dockers players in every game this year, a tally that rose to a season-high 16 in the big win over Perth last week, Peel have shown signs of becoming more competitive.

They have won four of their past nine matches but also led after half-time in four of those losses which all came against teams currently in the top four.

Peel's average losing margin of 27 points this season is the third best, behind West Perth (16) and Subiaco (17).

"It is a tough gig but Cam has done a good job," Kostandas said.

"He understands the alignment, he has done a lot of good work in our zone and he has worked well with Fremantle at synchronising the two groups.

"We were both keen to keep him and considered him the best candidate to take us forward."

Shepherd, who played in the Claremont premiership in 1987, coached teams in the Sunday league and amateurs before taking on assistant roles at Subiaco, East Perth and Swan Districts.

He joined Peel last year and has won seven of 36 matches.

Meanwhile, the WAFL has ruled out any appeal against the decision by tribunal chairman Paul Heaney to dismiss a rough-conduct charge against West Perth's Laine Rasmussen.

The Falcons defender was offered a three-match ban by the report review panel for his sling tackle that knocked out Swan Districts captain Tallan Ames last Saturday.

Rasmussen pleaded guilty to the charge at the tribunal but Heaney then threw it out after hearing evidence from both players.

Umpire Paul Pitchers, who lodged a notice of investigation into the incident, was dropped to the reserves tomorrow for failing to report Rasmussen at the time.

The West Australian

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