MVP honours for Min-Man junior

Former Mintaro-Manoora junior Harry Schoenberg capped off an impressive showing for the state U18 team by being named All-Australian and SA's MVP. Photo: Peter Argent.
Former Mintaro-Manoora junior Harry Schoenberg capped off an impressive showing for the state U18 team by being named All-Australian and SA's MVP. Photo: Peter Argent.

From the fringes of South Australia's under 18 squad nine months ago, Harry Schoenberg has thrown himself firmly into AFL Draft calculations.

The former Mintaro-Manoora junior had a stunning campaign in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships where he was named SA's Most Valuable Player and earned All-Australian selection to boot.

Over four games for the Croweaters, Schoenberg averaged 27 disposals, the second most in the competition behind emerging West Australian ball magnet Deven Robertson.

"It is a great achievement to get. I am super proud and my family is proud of me, I still cannot believe it," he said.

"I just went over there to play some footy and get the win, I was not really trying to win MVP or get All-Australian but I guess playing good footy that is what happens."

Drawing comparisons to St. Kilda's Jack Steven, Schoenberg had drawn praise for his ability to win first possession in the contest and his speed through the middle.

The Championships game at a good time for the emerging midfielder after he hit a purple patch of form for the Woodville-West Torrens Under 18s which carried over into the state team.

With a chip on his shoulder, the 18-year-old said his non-selection in November's state training hub added fuel to the fire.

"In a way it was probably good because all my footy career I have had it pretty easy so it gave me a kick in the behind so I did some extra work and trained hard," he said,

"I got picked back into the second hub and from there I kept training hard and playing good footy and the rest took its place."

Schoenberg lined up on a half-forward flank in SA's first two games of the Championship before moving into the midfield in a roving role alongside fellow North Eastern export, South Clare's Lachie McNeil.

The pair have a long history that stemmed all the way back to their junior days in NEFL.

Teammates at Woodville-West Torrens this year, Schoenberg said McNeil was another played who came from nowhere to have a strong showing.

"He had a great carnival as well," Schoenberg said.

"He is probably another good story where he has come from nowhere, he did not really play any state level footy until this year when it really mattered.

"He played in the middle alongside me and his pressure acts were outstanding. He is just a great bloke and I am pretty sure he would be proud as well."

Though he had received calls from AFL clubs following his eye-catching displays, Schoenberg said he would continue to work hard after being added to the Eagles reserve squad.

"Hopefully I can get a few reserves games coming into the end of the season. The reserves and League teams are in a good position so hopefully they can both play finals," he said.

"You never know I could go up into the League team but the focus now is to go back, train hard and hopefully get a reserves game."