Peel Thunderbirds players gear up to take part in first ever Jan Cooper Cup tournament

A talented contingent of Peel Thunderbirds will take to the field for the first ever Jan Cooper Cup tournament over the next four weeks.

The Peel region’s top women’s football team will field 27 players in the carnival, which aims to showcase Western Australia’s best up and coming female football talent.

Eligible players were named to four teams (South, East, West and Coast) via an online draft to compete in the cup, which has been designed to develop talent as well as prepare players for the WA Women’s Football League season and upcoming AFL Women’s national 18s and 16s championships.

The cup comprises of four rounds of double-headers, which kick off at Subiaco Oval on Sunday, February 11 before making stops in Bunbury and Mandurah for the following round-robin clashes.

The tournament will then return to Subiaco Oval for finals on March 10.

Thunderbirds head coach Mark Fenton is thrilled his club is fielding 27 players in the first ever Jan Cooper Cup. Photo: Richard Polden.

Thunderbirds head coach Mark Fenton is thrilled his club is fielding 27 players in the first ever Jan Cooper Cup. Photo: Richard Polden.

Thunderbirds head coach Mark Fenton, who will also act as an assistant coach for the West side, said the Peel-based club was thrilled to have such strong representation.

“The cup is going to be about developing young players and letting them mix with some of the senior girls, so we’re really excited for our players,” he said.

“To have 27 girls chosen to play in the tournament is an outstanding achievement for our club – programs like this one are going to improve the standard of women’s footy in our state by a big margin.

“We’re stoked to be a big part of the first ever Jan Cooper Cup.”

Outside of the 27 Peel girls taking to the field, the Thunderbirds will also have Georgia Perry and Steve Markham filling coaching roles for the Coast and South teams respectively.

The tournament is named in honour of WA female football pioneer Jan Cooper and includes the best players in WA outside the AFL Women’s competition.

Cooper said she was overwhelmed that the WA Football Commission had named the cup in her honour and praised the introduction of the competition.

“Being a talent program it is especially humbling as it means the rising stars get to know a little about the history of women’s football and one of the numerous people who have contributed to providing opportunities for their generation and generations to come,” she said.

“It’s a really great concept that has been established in other States with excellent results, so I commend the WAFC’s female talent team on developing this cup concept in WA.”

Vision of all games will be streamed live online at footyradio.com.au/female-footy

Jan Cooper Cup fixtures

Round 1

Sunday, February 11 – Subiaco Oval        

9am – Coast vs West      

10.45am – South vs East               

Round 2

Saturday, February 17 – Hands Oval, Bunbury

4pm – Coast vs East

5.45pm - South vs West

Round 3

Saturday, February 24 - Bendigo Bank Stadium, Mandurah           

3.30pm – Coast vs South              

5.10pm – East vs West  

Round 4

Saturday, March 10 – Subiaco Oval          

3.30pm – 1 v 2 final

5.10pm – 3 v 4 final