East Fremantle recruit Josh Schoenfeld rediscovers love for football after five seasons at Gold Coast

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Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
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Josh Schoenfeld collected 40 touches against West Coast.
Camera IconJosh Schoenfeld collected 40 touches against West Coast. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

When Josh Schoenfeld signed with East Fremantle after being de-listed by Gold Coast last season, he arrived at New Choice Homes Park with one simple goal: to enjoy his football again.

Originally from the Rockingham Junior Football Club, Schoenfeld spent five seasons at the Gold Coast Suns, but could only manage 15 AFL games.

Injuries played a part, but the mental battle was just as prevalent.

“I just want to enjoy my footy again,” Schoenfeld said.

“I wanted to come in with an open mind and start playing again.

“The last few years on the Gold Coast were pretty tough physically and mentally on me so I wanted to find my feet again.”

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Another factor in Schoenfeld’s resurgence has been his move into the midfield.

The 23-year-old was used mostly as a winger by the Suns but relished the opportunity to play as an inside midfielder at NEAFL level.

Dubbed Gold Coast’s ‘time trial king’ after successive 2km trial victories, Schoenfeld’s running power saw him collect 40 disposals as an inside midfielder in the Sharks’ 125 point win over West Coast.

“The coaching staff and the boys have confidence in me to play an inside midfield role,” he said.

“I’ve played a lot on the wing the past few years so for people to back me in and trust me to play my role, it’s been pretty good.

“I made sure I kept my fitness intact (after being delisted) because that’s me at my best.

“It’s a huge strength of mine so I knew if I could bring it to the WAFL, I’d be able to help the team.

“With bigger ovals, it lets you work over your opponents so it’s a strength of mine that I’ll keep using.”

If it’s not Schoenfeld, another member of East Fremantle’s star-studded midfielder stands up.

Josh Schoenfeld played 15 games for Gold Coast.
Camera IconJosh Schoenfeld played 15 games for Gold Coast. Credit: Adam Trafford/AFL Media

On Saturday, Schoenfeld, former Tiger Luke English and former Carlton midfielder Blaine Boekhorst combined for 113 touches between them.

Although up against a weaker opponent, the Eagles fielding only five AFL listed players, Schoenfeld believes their synergy is building.

“We’ve got a huge amount of depth in there,” he said.

“If someone is a bit off their game, someone else can come in and play a role.

“It’s enjoyable and we’ve all got different strengths so I think our chemistry is building.”

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