Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

A record well earned

Shane Schottner will break the Seymour club games record when he takes the field against Mooroopna on Saturday.

CHALPAT SONTI July 23, 2014 3:56am

He might be rising 37 but Shane Schottner can still fly with the best of them as he shows against Shepparton Bears at Deakin Reserve on Saturday.

Shane Schottner has had a long and glorious career with Seymour Football Netball Club, but there’s one thing he would like as he prepares to make history on Saturday.

It’s hard to see how his request will be granted though.

‘‘I’d like to keep it low-key,’’ he said.

When Schottner runs out on to Kings Park on Saturday, he’ll break Mick O’Donnell’s club games record of 314. Schottner, 36, equalled it against the Shepparton Bears on Saturday.

But Schottner is much more besides the club’s record-holder, a triple premiership captain and Morrison Medallist. He’s the most-respected figure about the place, and his career is testament to why.

When he began the Lions were at rock-bottom but he stuck around, even coached the senior side one year, and reaped the benefits of what followed. Yet even more than all that, what happened in the years that followed the premierships speaks volumes about him.

‘‘In 2009 when I had the groin operation I was done,’’ he said.

‘‘I never thought I would ever get near it (the record) and it’s a huge honour to do so. I respect Mick greatly and have since I started — he’s a great Seymour man.’’

Schottner could also have retired after the 2012 grand final. He would have gone out on a high and nobody would’ve questioned that decision.

But he didn’t, and the reason why is why there should be a big crowd to cheer him on to the field on Saturday.

‘‘I’m glad I didn’t walk away after the grand final,’’ he said.

‘‘It would have been easier to do that but I enjoy playing with the boys, the young kids, and the relationships you make — the club just means so much to me.’’

And Schottner has done it the hard way. He has basically rucked full time since 1998, mostly without anyone else in support until recent years.

‘‘The body’s copped a bit over the years but I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a great ride and I certainly wouldn’t have stayed around this long, travelled all those (kilometres) and everything else if I didn’t enjoy it.

‘‘I’ve been lucky with injuries too, just a few little nicks here and there and nothing really until the groin.’’

Yet Schottner, ever the club man, is focusing on other things apart from his own milestone.

‘‘We just need a win,’’ he said.

‘‘The boys are just devastated (after losing to Shepparton Bears) and the whole club needs a win badly. I’ve been there before and it’s not much fun.’’

One notable absentee will be O’Donnell, who is off to Hawaii to celebrate son Brett’s 30th birthday.

But he paid tribute on the eve of his departure.

‘‘I couldn’t think of a better person to break the record,’’ he said.

‘‘For the time he’s played and put into the footy club, he could have left after coaching but he stayed and got the reward of those premierships. Not only that, he played as ruckman and interleague ruckman for many years, and he’s rated the toughest opponent many of the others have played against.

‘‘And he certainly makes the team stand taller as well.’’

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