Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Frank Dunell

Known as
Frank Dunell

17 March 1958 (age 65)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 21y 93d
Last game: 30y 164d

Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 85 kg

Senior clubs
Essendon; Brisbane

Jumper numbers
Essendon: 7
Brisbane: 7

Recruited from
Windsor Zillmere (1979); Essendon (1987)

Family links
Samuel Dunell (Son)

Frank Dunell

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
Windsor ZillmereQAFL1977-1978, 1988
QAFL1977-1978, 1988

AFL: 9,090th player to appear, 2,030th most games played, 1,749th most goals kickedEssendon: 866th player to appear, 174th most games played, 154th most goals kickedBrisbane: 23rd player to appear, 216th most games played, 211th most goals kicked

A Windsor-Zillmere (QAFL) utility player Dunell will always have a special place in Queensland football history as the first player from that state to play in an V/AFL premiership side. 

He made his senior QAFL debut with Zillmere in 1977 and played 39 senior games with the Eagles before he was recruited by Essendon in 1979. He overcame injury problems and form lapses early in his VFL career to forge a successful career with the club over an eight-season 100-game stint. Initially used mainly at full forward by the Bombers he later migrated to the wing before playing some of his best football in a forward pocket, where he combined pace, aerial prowess and a keen goal sense. In 1983 he played in Essendon's reserves premiership team before experiencing senior success the following year. He was also a member of the Bombers' 1984 night premiership team.

Lured back 'home' with the launch of the Brisbane Bears in 1987, Dunell - the second Queenslander behind Gary Shaw to play for the club - was denied a chance to show his true worth when plagued by injuries, and managed just 15 games over two years, although he did finish his playing career with success - as a key member of Zillmere’s 1988 AFLQ premiership side captained by Craig Brittain and coached by Wayne Brittain. 

Dunell played eight times for Queensland, including the Bi-Centennial Championships in Adelaide in 1988 when he was deputy vice-captain. From 1997 to 2001 Dunell was non-playing coach of North Old Boys in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

Author - John Devaney with additional material from Adam Cardosi


Full Points Footy Publications, Murray Bird and Peter Blucher


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.