By ZAC MILBANK
A roller-coaster ride.
There’s no better description for Jonty Scharenberg’s journey to 100 Hostplus SANFL League games as he aims for his milestone match to end on the ultimate high in Sunday’s Grand Final at Adelaide Oval.
Glenelg’s ultra-consistent defender has negotiated the extreme highs and lows since making his debut as a 16-year-old in 2015 and is now on the upward curve after two challenging seasons.
This time last year, the 25-year-old was the first to admit he was considering a future outside of Brighton Road as he battled to find a regular place in the Bays’ best 22.
Two years ago, the Bays’ No.2 was preparing for the SANFL Reserves Grand Final, in which he played an instrumental part in defeating Central as he won the Bob Lee Medal as best afield.
It was a tough trot for Scharenberg considering he had previously experienced the joy of playing in Glenelg’s drought-breaking 2019 League premiership against Port Adelaide.
His career highlight came three years after admitting it had taken him longer than expected to deal with the emotion of being overlooked for the 2016 AFL Draft despite being an U18 All-Australian and testing at the AFL Combine.
At the time, he was desperate to follow older brother Matt (who was drafted by Collingwood) into the AFL, ensuring his non-selection would test his resolve at such a young age.
But the well-spoken accountant, who is relishing his off-field role as a member of SANFL’s finance team, wouldn’t have it any other way as he prepares for his second League title-decider, against Sturt on Sunday.
And regardless of the result, Scharenberg will forever have his name etched on the No.2 locker at the Bay, a fitting tribute to his tremendous resilience.