A harsh reality check at the beginning of 2019 nearly derailed new Crow Harry Schoenberg’s dream of playing professional football.
Adelaide’s new No. 26 completed Year 12 at the end of 2018 and entered his draft year with high hopes of securing a spot in the SA squad.
However, to the surprise of many, the young talent was not selected.
“I was pretty disappointed at first as it was something I wanted to achieve to set up my year,” he said.
“It was a big shock to me as all the way through my footy journey I’d made every state and representative team there was.”
It became a turning point for Schoenberg as he realised what was needed to live out his AFL dream.
“It (missing out on the SA squad) made me realise I had to do a lot more work to get to the level,” Schoenberg said.
“My training standards probably weren’t where they needed to be and I wasn’t doing the extra work that the others around me were.”
“After looking at all of that I went about getting some extra help and did some extra work which definitely paid off in the end.”
Schoenberg’s hard work would see him force his way back into the South Australian squad and not only participate in the National under 18 Championships but dominate.
He won the SA MVP award and was named in the U18 All Australian side.
After averaging 27 disposals a game across the Under 18 Carnival, Schoenberg’s draft stocks rose dramatically.
Hailing from Marrabel in South Australia’s mid north, Schoenberg has always been a standout playing senior footy from an early age.
“I was playing in the A Grade (at Mintaro-Manoora) when I was 14,” Schoenberg told AFC Media.
“Coming up against players so much older I was just told to use my speed and skill and it worked,”
“It has definitely helped with my footy as you just become used to playing against those bigger bodies and adapt a lot quicker to higher level games.”
Schoenberg moved to Adelaide at 15 years of age to play for SANFL club Woodville West-Torrens and attend boarding school at Prince Alfred College.
He went from a relatively unknown prospect to being drafted by Adelaide with the Club’s second pick.
“It was great (being drafted by the Crows),” Schoenberg said.
“I have always watched Adelaide closely so to be able to stay at home and play near my family and friends will be awesome.”
He spoke highly of his teammates and the culture at the Club, with a number of senior players having a big impact on the 19-year-old.
“I couldn’t thank all the boys and staff enough, everybody has been really welcoming, you fit in straight away,” Schoenberg said.
“Living with Paul Seedsman for the first three weeks was really good as he showed me how an AFL player goes about it.
“Going more into the midfield now, people like Rory Sloane and Matt Crouch have been great to learn from, everybody has just been super helpful.”
Moving into his first AFL season, Schoenberg hopes the fans will be able to see his ruthless competitiveness on the field as he constantly looks to improve.
“I am definitely a competitor, I love winning,”
“My main goal for this year is just to play good footy, stay injury free and help the team get some wins on the board.”