Rhys Palmer

Rhys Palmer (born 13 February 1989) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Fremantle Football Club, Greater Western Sydney Giants and Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He won the AFL Rising Star award in 2008.

Rhys Palmer
Palmer playing for Greater Western Sydney in 2012
Personal information
Full name Rhys Palmer
Date of birth (1989-02-13) 13 February 1989
Original team(s) Bullcreek Leeming JFC / East Fremantle
Height 181 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 82 kg (181 lb)
Position(s) Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2008–2011 Fremantle 053 (23)
2012–2016 Greater Western Sydney 069 (72)
2017 Carlton 001 0(0)
Total 123 (95)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2017.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Early life

Palmer was born in 1989 and played junior football for the Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club.[1]

He made his West Australian Football League (WAFL) debut for East Fremantle in 2007, playing 14 games, obtaining over 20 possessions in his final six games, include five goals in one game.[2]

Palmer was a key member of Western Australia's victorious 2007 AFL Under 18 Championships side, averaging 32 possessions and 3 goals per game. He finished second by one vote behind Cale Morton in the Larke Medal and was named in the Under 18 All-Australian side.[3]

Palmer gained attention again at 2007 AFL Draft Camp finishing second in the 3 km time trial with a time of 10min 25sec and fifth in the beep test with a score of 14.8.[4]

AFL career

Palmer was taken at pick #7 overall in the 2007 AFL Draft by Fremantle.

He put in some impressive performances in the 2008 NAB Cup and after being named as an emergency for the opening round of the 2008 season, Palmer made his debut in Round 2 at Subiaco Oval against Hawthorn. Whilst his debut match was impressive individually, with 22 possessions and a goal, Fremantle lost the match by 15 points.[5] In his second match he was awarded the AFL Rising Star nomination for his outstanding performance in the Western Derby,[6] despite receiving a gash to his head in the opening quarter.[7]

After being nominated in Round 3, Palmer won the 2008 AFL Rising Star ahead of Cyril Rioli from Hawthorn with 8 of the 9 judges voting him as the best emerging player. He missed most of the 2009 season because of a knee reconstruction.

Palmer joined Greater Western Sydney in September 2011, becoming the third uncontracted player, after Phil Davis and Callan Ward, to join the club in preparation for its entry into the AFL for the 2012 season.[8]

At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Palmer was traded to Carlton. He made his first senior appearance for Carlton at the MCG against Essendon, as a late inclusion. Carlton recorded their first win of the season, winning by 15 points.[9] At the conclusion of the 2017 season, he was delisted by Carlton.[10]

In 2018 he returned to Western Australia and joined Swan Districts in the West Australian Football League (WAFL).[11]

In March 2019 he threw his shoes onto the Gloucester Park harness racing track during the feature race. No horses or reinsmen were injured, but there were calls for Palmer to be banned for life from racetracks due to the dangerous act.[12]

On 16 March 2019, at roughly 7:30pm local time, Palmer suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in Perth, resulting in Palmer being placed in an induced coma.[13]


Statistics are correct to round 19 of 2017 season[14]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2008 Fremantle 1020108270192462100470.50.413.59.623.15.02.4
2009 Fremantle 10531455910418200.
2010 Fremantle 10134311313624946520.30.28.710.519.23.54.0
2011 Fremantle 10156611012123148570.
2012 Greater Western Sydney 7159915812828666340.60.610.58.519.14.42.3
2013 Greater Western Sydney 711951038018351320.
2014 Greater Western Sydney 717231214713628354491.
2015 Greater Western Sydney 71418161337921253381.
2016 Greater Western Sydney 712137947316753281.
2017 Carlton 241006612420.
Career 123 95 67 1179 1010 2189 493 359 0.8 0.5 9.6 8.2 17.8 4.0 2.9


  1. "Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club Hall of Fame". www.bljfc.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  2. "Rhys Palmer". SportingPulse. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  3. Heinrich, Scott (12 July 2007). "West boys end title agony". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  4. "2007 AFL draft camp results". Herald Sun. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  5. Chadwick, Justin (29 March 2008). "Hawks get the job done". sportal.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  6. "Palmer handed Rising Star nomination". Herald Sun. 8 April 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  7. Walsh, Courtney (7 April 2008). "Bloodied Docker's 'dream' derby debut". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  8. Palmer joins GWS Archived 25 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine – afl.com.au. Written by Nathan Schmook. Published 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  9. "Three Giants head to Carlton in last-ditch mega-trade". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. Navaratnam, Dinny (20 October 2017). "Blues chop trio, including three-club veteran". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  11. Lacy, Bridget (30 January 2018). "Swan Districts recruit Rhys Palmer on his time in the AFL and what the future holds". The West Australian. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  12. Manning, Ernie (15 March 2019). "AFL star likely to get boot for shoe caper". The West Australian.
  13. "Former AFL star Rhys Palmer placed in induced coma after serious motorcycle accident". 17 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  14. "Rhys Palmer stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
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