NORTH Ballarat Rebels footballer Tom Schnerring says a season-ending injury will not diminish his desire to take his football to the next level.
The Warrnambool premiership utility will undergo a full reconstruction on his right knee next week after scans yesterday confirmed he’d ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
The serious diagnosis was a bitter blow for Schnerring after he’d worked diligently to earn a second chance at TAC Cup level as a 19-year-old listed player.
Schnerring, 18, lasted one game into his overage campaign, hurting himself in the Rebels’ season opener against Geelong Falcons on Sunday.
He made a promising start, kicking two goals before his knee buckled in a tackle.
Schnerring said it was frustrating his TAC Cup career would end on a negative note.
But he is determined to return to football at a high level.
“I am not sure what I will be doing or where I will be playing but hopefully I will still try and get to the top,” he said.
“I am disappointed but I am looking for the positives.
“I will only miss this year. It’s not like I’ve done it halfway through the year and will miss two years.”
“I’ll try and get to most Rebels games and watch Warrnambool when I can and will definitely stay involved,” he said.
“Hopefully I will help out with the coaches at the Rebels.” North Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader said Schnerring’s injury was shattering.
“It’s very disappointing for Tommy but that is the nature of the beast,” Loader said.
“He is an outstanding young man so it always hurts when it happens to someone like him.
“He still has a bright future. This is just a hiccup.”
Loader said Schnerring, the second Rebel to injure his ACL this season, would still play a role in the club’s quest for finals.
“He’s been a valued member of the Rebels community for the last 18 months and we’ll look at what role he can do for us,” he said.
Schnerring played in a Hampden league senior premiership for Warrnambool in 2013, aged just 17.
Blues coach Scott Carter — an unashamed fan of the versatile teenager — backed his charge to respond powerfully.
“He is young and fit enough to get back from this,” Carter said. “We’ll support him and help him out.”
Carter said Schnerring had the potential to play at the elite level.
“As a top-age player in that system (TAC Cup) you obviously have a few (AFL) clubs interested in you and I know he has had a big pre-season and to have that happen in the first game is sad,” he said.
“It’s disappointing a bloke who put in so much work in the pre-season is not getting any reward for it.”
Two south-west footballers will make their TAC Cup debuts tomorrow after the Rebels made eight changes for their Good Friday match against Bendigo Pioneers at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
South Warrnambool forward Charlie Lee and Cobden defender Christian Koroneos were called up for the fixture.