Adelaide midfielder Harry Schoenberg says coming up against some of the best midfielders in the competition this year has helped fasttrack his development.
Schoenberg earned the Round 19 AFL Rising Star nomination after finishing the win against the Hawks with 24 disposals, five marks, six tackles and eight score involvements along with 318 metres gained.
The 20-year-old has been given the job on other highly regarded midfielders in the past month, including Essendon’s Darcy Parish and Hawthorn’s Jaeger O'Meara.
But instead of becoming overwhelmed by the task, Schoenberg said he has used it as a way to improve.
“I’ve done a bit of roles running with other midfielders, that’s been my main thing, backing myself, following another midfielder out and going one-on-one against him,” Schoenberg said.
“At times, earlier in the year I was probably out of position, so that was my main focus heading into the last month, sort of getting in the right positions to win the ball.
“When I was on Darcy (Parish) he took me to the right positions and I was able to play footy on the back of that.
“Then on the weekend I did the same sort of thing with O’Meara, he’s obviously a great player as well.
“I learned a lot from those two.”
Schoenberg was selected at pick No. 24 in the 2019 Draft and made his AFL debut in Round 10, 2020.
The young Crow has played all but one game this season in an impressive run of form, and averaged 3.5 tackles and 2.7 clearances.
Schoenberg and the entire Crows midfield is set to be challenged this week by another strong on-ball brigade when they battle the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat on Saturday.
But the latest Rising Star nominee says he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I always say if you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” Schoenberg said.
“We will learn a lot from them.
“They’ve got (Marcus) Bontempelli and (Jackson) Macrae and (Tom) Liberatore, they’ve got a really good midfield but we’ll back ourselves, we’ll be confident and we know that our best footy can match with the best teams in the competition.
“I’m looking forward to it and I know the team is, too.”