NORTH Ballarat Rebels defender Tom Schnerring knows versatility is paramount in modern football.
The Warrnambool premiership wingman was given a new challenge when he joined the TAC Cup this season — the Rebels threw him into defence.
Schnerring, 17, played a shutdown role on nimble Geelong Falcons forward Aaron Christensen in the final quarter in wet and slippery conditions at Reid Oval yesterday.
The 187-centimetre Schnerring had a 13-centimetre height advantage on the nippy Christensen, who finished the game with one goal.
“He was pretty dangerous in the first couple of quarters,” Schnerring said.
Schnerring said he had enjoyed playing in defence and felt his senior season for Warrnambool in 2013 gave him the perfect grounding to make his mark at TAC Cup level.
He has played 11 of the Rebels’ 12 games and helped them to an eight-game winning streak.
“The seniors definitely helped me last year, more the physical side of it,” Schnerring said.
“I have had to play on a few taller blokes this year and that’s sort of helped me so I have a good understanding of that.
“It is good to have that flexibility and play on talls and smalls so it is pretty handy to have I suppose and as a team as well.”
The Rebels carved out an 18-point win in difficult conditions yesterday.
Schnerring said he relished the opportunity to play at his home ground in front of family and friends.
“It was pretty tough conditions obviously but we got a pretty good start,” he said.
“They came back at us in the second and third and we just held on in the last quarter, so it was another good win, eight in a row.”
Schnerring made his debut in round one at Camperdown against the Falcons.
The Rebels lost that game and went on to lose their first four matches before surging up the TAC Cup ladder.
“I am not sure what the turnaround was but we’re just playing as a team and everyone knows their role,” Schnerring said.
“And that’s a winning formula I suppose.
“Last week was pretty similar to this so it’s good to know we can win in these conditions as well as dry conditions so that’s another positive.”