Frank Dunell

Frank Dunell

A Windsor-Zillmere utility player who will always have a special place in Queensland football history as the first player to play in an AFL premiership side. Made his senior QAFL debut with Zillmere in ’77 and played 39 senior games before he was recruited by Essendon under the ‘Form Four’ format. Made his AFL debut in ’79 and played precisely 100 games for the Bombers (six finals) from 1979-86, kicking 57 goals as he alternated between attack and defence.

A member of Essendon’s 1983 Reserves premiership side, he tasted twin success in ’84 when the club won the night premiership in addition to the AFL flag. Played 66 of a possible 72 games from 1984-86, kicking a career-best four goals against St.Kilda in round 20, 1984, and loomed as a key recruit when lured ‘home’ in ’87 to finish his AFL career with the fledgling Brisbane Bears. Was denied a chance to show his true worth when plagued by injuries, and after becoming the second Queenslander behind Gary Shaw to play for the Bears totaled just 15 AFL games and four goals in 1987-88 to add to his career tally.

Played eight times for Queensland, including the Bi-Centennial Championships in Adelaide in 1988 when he was deputy vice-captain. Finished his career where he started as a key member of Zillmere’s 1988 AFLQ premiership side captained by Craig Brittain and coached by Wayne Brittain.

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