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Shawry & Schneids: Like Ships Passing in the Night

 

Over the past week, two much-loved Sydney Swans premiership players have announced that the 2015 AFL season will indeed be their last. Rhyce Shaw and Adam Schneider both reached football utopia in their careers, but never played a match together. Oddly though, they appear to have much in common.

 

The 2005 premiership is well storied; a drought-breaking flag that is now part of footy folklore and a young kid from Osbourne, in the footy stronghold of the Riverina, played a vital role. Adam Schneider was drafted in 2001, made his debut in 2003, and the cheeky goal-sneak went on to become one of the most popular members of the team. He quickly became a fan favourite, to the extent that I don’t think my dear old Nan has ever fully forgiven Roosy for using him as trade bait in 2007. Schneiderman was her favourite. And I’m sure Nan was not alone there.

 

 

 

 

After the 2005 premiership, Schneids seemed to feature predominantly in most celebration photos, or videos, with the image of him holding aloft his premiership medallion in one hand, and Crown Lager in the other, a sight to behold. What a sight. Almost as pleasing a sight as our little number thirteen streaming in on goal, readying to unleash that lethal left foot finish. Three final-term goals in the ’05 prelim and his major in the decider, will live on forever in the hearts and minds of Bloods everywhere.

 

After that fabled flag, Schneider described the feeling of running out on to the MCG on Grand Final day as a magic feeling. It’s pretty hard to put into words. My mind was running at a million miles an hour. I just remember running out through the banner and thinking, “I never thought I would do this”. I always dreamed about it. To look around and see 90 thousand people there… it was just unbelievable. It’s literally indescribable how good it was. I’d love to do that every year possible”. Well, after being traded to the Saints in 2007, he must’ve thought playing on footy’s biggest day every year was a possibility. He played in the ’05, ’06, ’09, and 2010 (twice) Grand Finals. All this after featuring in five country grand finals for his home town in the Riverina’s Hume League.

 

As Schneids swapped his colours, so did Shawry. It was around this time that I learnt a valuable life lesson. The colours of a footy jumper can make an incredible difference to your opinion of a man. Rightly, or wrongly, I didn’t have much time for Rhyce Shaw the Magpie. However, Rhyce Shaw the Swan? Now that’s a different matter entirely.

 

After ten seasons at Collingwood, his family’s club, Roosy met Shawry at the airport and welcomed him to the harbour city. Instantly, the Swans took a liking to Shaw, and vice versa. Fans fell in love the ‘Shawry shuffle’, as he bounced and bolted off the half-back line time and time again. The Swans wanted him for this very reason, and at the time, Shaw wanted a change. A second placing in the Skilton medal in his first season confirmed that this would be a match made in heaven.

 

Rhyce Shaw has won an unequivocal respect and adoration from the Swans faithful. His obvious enjoyment from the team’s and team mates’ achievements bring a warmth to his weekly performances that is matched by few. In 2011, our dashing number two was named ‘Best Clubman’. It has been repeatedly noted by insiders at the Swans, that R. Shaw is the man that they openly covet for upholding the values and spirit of this football club. A man who rarely gains the credit that he is due for his work at the club, Rhyce Shaw can be incredibly proud of the way that he ‘goes about it’. The young players adore him, the older players rely on him.

 

 

 

 

 

Nine years after appearing for the Pies in the ’03 Grand Final, Shawry returned with the Bloods. Playing a major role in defence, he atoned for that previous performance on the big stage, by playing a bloody ripper. After the match, Shaw stated that he’d ‘waited his whole life for this’. As such a vital cog in that ’12 premiership winning team, he silenced critics and justified faith. A glorious combination. Just last year, in his 200th match, and as the man of the moment, Rhyce Shaw made a rare venture into the forward-fifty to kick a goal which not only provided the highlight of the match, but also further displayed his extreme value to his teammates. They ran from everywhere to congratulate a much admired and loved Swan.

 

And so, like ships passing in the night, Adam Schneider and Rhyce Shaw unwittingly crossed paths, forged brotherhoods with common friends and both left an undeniable mark. Furthermore, the Sydney Swans are a better club for it. Congrats, thank you and cheers, cheers from the Red & the White.

 

 

Speaking of tributes (but on a not-so-serious note) check out Almanacker Mickey Randall’s tribute to the humble Dunlop Volleys, Blundstone boots and ‘double plugger’ thongs.

 

 

 

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. Keiran Croker says:

    Well said Joe.
    While I was sad to see Schneids go, I would have been delighted if he could have jagged a 2nd flag with the Saints.

  2. Joe Moore says:

    Thanks Keiran.
    Likewise. I was cheering for Schneids & Seany Dempster in all of those Grand Finals with the Saints.
    I’m hoping Rhyce stays around in some kind of coaching/welfare role at the Swans. Hugely respected.
    Pre-game beer on Sunday to discuss further?
    Cheers.

  3. jan courtin says:

    I was really upset when Schneids was traded and the way in which it apparently happened. He was indeed a favourite. I loved the small Swans emblem he had tatooed on his ankle too!

    Hopefully he’ll do a lap of honour this Sunday and all fans from both clubs will hive him hero’s send off.

    Have of course also loved everything about Shawry, and we will miss him, that’s for sure.
    Cheer Cheer

  4. Bec. Blossomvictory says:

    My old neighbour was a Swan for life, from Sydney. Now he lives & works in Melb. When he lived next door, if the Swan was playing we could hear so many unusual & passionate screaming and cheering right through our walls … My partner & I just laughed at him: suddenly, such an immaculately mature professional – had turned into an uncontrollable teenager!! … So, I do know a bit abt the swanie(s), it’s colours say it all — Blood Red & Snowy White … Ohh Lord, so bloody gutted when Bernie Vince was traded to the Demons, hope our another beauty – Danger, won’t be gone too. God Bless!! Lol …

  5. Joe Moore says:

    Jan – There were many upset Swans when we lost Schneider, that’s for sure. I’m very happy that I’ll be there on Sunday to contribute to the send off. I’m sure many Saints and Swans will join in giving him the reception that he deserves. Shawry will most certainly be missed. And by many.

    Bec – I can relate to having a personality that changes drastically once the Swannies take the field! I’m sure my neighbours have had a good laugh at my expense as well. Here’s hoping Danger stays a Crow!

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Nice one Joe,
    My brother rather callously put a picture of Rhyce’s head on his dart board after the 2003 GF debacle. I do declare that I fired a few shots in anger at it.
    Rhyce has redeemed himself with the Swannies. Best thing he did was leave Collingwood. Onya Rhyce!

  7. Joe Moore says:

    Thanks Phil.
    I did get a good laugh out of your dart board admission!
    He’s been a real gem for the Swannies. We were very lucky to get him.
    His two GF’s for us have been outstanding. Hopefully he can end on a great note!

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    I had the pleasure of umpiring,Adam Schneider when he was in the NSW Primary school team he was easily there best player and was a good kid he listened and wanted to learn( Scott Thompson and Kane Cornes were in the SA team) so have always followed his career closely and Rhys Shaw has been yet another successful recruit from another club a area in which the Swans have claims to be the best at in the comp thanks,Joe

  9. As someone who always follows the fortunes of players in the Riverina, Adam Schneider has been a favourite of mine the last decade. As the goals have dried up the last two seasons his influence has changed from being a goal sneak across to mentoring the Saints small forwards. He has big wraps on him re a coaching role in the near future. Hope he kicks a few goals on Saturday, and the future is good to him.

    Glen!

  10. Joe Moore says:

    Thanks Malcolm. Must be refreshing to have seen these great players as children, then develop to become the stars of our game. We have certainly done well with our not-so-high-profile recruits. A fact that often becomes lost in the current conversation.

    Glen – Are you also from the Riverina? And in regards to Schneids – Hear, hear!

  11. Not a bad farewell game for Adam; bar the result ! To be your teams leading goalscorer, especially against your old side, must provide some satisfaction. All the best in hanging up your boots, though i’ll be very suprised if you don’t appear in a coaching role in the near future .

    Glen!

  12. G’day Joe. No i’m Melbourne born and bred , though my mother moved from Corowa to Melbourne back in 1954, and i have family scattered all through the Riverina and North Eastern Victoria. Places like Benalla, Berrigan, Wagga and Albury are very, very familiar to me. Nice neck of the woods.

    Glen!

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