Saturday, 14th April, 2012
By Darrin Manuel
The Magpies faithful will toast a key component of the club’s future today as Brenton Zanette takes the field for his 100th game.
Zanette has been a mainstay in the Central backline and midfield for years, and his importance to the club was highlighted again when he was named captain for the 2012 season.
The 23-year-old’s progress is impessive given that he only began playing football at the age of 14, having previously played soccer with St Joe’s.
Despite his late introduction to the game Zanette made his senior debut in 2004 at 15 years of age, winning the Magpies’ best junior award and finishing runner up in the BHFL best junior award.
He went on to have a decorated career in black and white, taking out the club’s best and fairest in 2008 and 2011, and celebrating the 2006 flag with brother Matt and cousin Darren.
The good times have been tempered by a number of serious injuries however, including a shoulder AC joint separation, a ruptured blood vessel to his spleen, a partial postrior cruciate ligament rupture and a fractured jaw.
The latter occurred in the final round of the 2010 season, forcing Zanette to miss the club’s 2010 premiership and providing the major lowlight of his career.
Thankfully there appears to be no such injury concerns as he prepares to lead his team into battle today.
The new captain is so focused on his new leadership role that he was hesitant to talk about his own milestone, and said today’s focus should remain squarely on his teammates.
“I don’t really want to make it about me. I just want the team to get a good start to the year rather than focus on myself.
“As far as the team goes we’ve all had a good pre-season and we’re all keen to get into it.
“Hopefully we can get a few wins on the board after having a not so good season last year; try and make a good start, build some momentum and win some games.”
His team-first approach is sure to be welcomed by Magpies fans, and mirrors the captaincy style of his predecessor, the club’s playing coach Justin Heath.
“It was a bit of a surprise to be named captain as I’m only fairly young, but it’s a great honour,” said Zanette.
“You look at the blokes who have done it before me, people like Bongo (Heath) who always led by example. If I can do half as good a job as he did I’ll be happy.”
Heath said the decision to appoint Zanette captain had been popular within the club, and predicted that he would be an ideal fit for the role.
“He was next in line, and he’s very deserving of it - just the way he leads on the field and uses his voice,” said Heath.
“He’s tough at the ball, he gets in and under and doesn’t the shirk the issue, and he’s a big bloke and a strong mark.
“When he lifts the whole team lifts. He’s a great role model for our younger players.”
All sports inquiries and results can be directed to Darrin at the BDT by phoning 8087 2354 or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org