Disgraced former AFL footballer Josh Bootsma joins Peel Thunder

Peel Thunder has signed former Carlton Football Club defender Josh Bootsma, who was sacked after a series of off-field misdemeanours.

The 21-year-old made headlines across the country earlier this month after he was caught sending sexually explicit material via social media to women, one believed to be aged just 15.

At the time, Carlton general manager of football operations, Andrew McKay said the young player had been given numerous opportunities and support with his “disciplinary issues”.

“The Carlton Football Club has high expectations of its players and staff; we expect them to uphold certain standards,” McKay said in a statement released on the day of Bootsma's sacking.

“He has continuously not lived up to the standards expected of a senior listed AFL player.

“This latest issue has left the club with no other choice but to take this course of action."

Bootsma, son of Peel football manager and former Fremantle Football Club player Brad, was drafted by Carlton with pick 22 in the 2011 NAB National Draft, and comes to Peel Thunder with 14 games of AFL under his belt in the past three seasons.

In a statement released by Peel Thunder on Thursday, club officials said Bootsma would "add plenty of bite to the side’s defence".

He could be available to play as early as next month’s clash with Claremont.

Bootsma was cleared from South Fremantle four days prior to the clearance deadline and will be a 10-point player on the Thunder list.

The 21-year-old is said to be in a "good mindset" following the recent birth of his daughter.

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