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Friday, June 28, 2024 - 10:51 AM


2023 EF Premiership hero, Brayden Lawler, announced his retirement from WAFL football this week. A combination of an increase in business and family commitments meant the tough forward called time on his WAFL career after 144 games with Peel and the Sharks. 

Lawler was a matured-aged recruit to Peel in 2015, having played Colts at Swan Districts in 2012. He quickly established himself in the Peel side as a pressure forward - with his ferocious attack on the ball and tackle pressure standing out. Lawler was a member of the back to back Peel Premiership sides in 2016 and 2017, laying 10 tackles in both deciders. He left the WAFL in 2022 to focus on his family life but return to play with the Sharks in 2023, where he had his most productive season in front of goals, kicking 29 for the season. He also laid another 9 tackles in the decider. 

“Brayden was an important piece in our premiership success - he had been a part of successful teams at Peel and his ability to always put the team first is what attracted us to him as a club”, recalls General Manager of Football Operations, Brad Dodd. “He just wants to win, doesn’t need the attention and that rubbed off on the team and made him a popular member of the group with team mates, coaches and supporters”.

Lawler reflects fondly on his time at both clubs. 

“I went down to Peel as a mature aged player and didn’t expect to be there long. I made some life long friends and I was lucky enough to be apart of 2 premierships there. Cam Sheppard was my coach the whole time at Peel and I owe a fair bit of credit to him for believing in me. 

After having a year off with the birth of our first child, East Fremantle contacted me and after meeting with Bill and Brad, I decided to return to the WAFL with East Fremantle. It was one of my most enjoyable seasons of career. The club welcomed me in from day 1 and you could sense the group was going places. Winning the grand final, after a long drought, was an amazing experience - so many people worked hard to put the team in that position and I was so happy for players like Matthew Jupp, Cam Eardley and Jarrad Jansen, who had been through the hard times. 

Walking away was a difficult decision, but after my partner, Lauren, and I welcomed our 2nd child in March, it became difficult to juggle everything and we decided it was best to hang the boots up. I am grateful to both clubs for the opportunities they gave me.”

Brayden Lawler walks away from WAFL with 144 games (123 Peel, 21 EF) and 3 Premierships.

All the best from the East Fremantle Sharks to Brayden, Lauren, Lenni and Bobby.