Veteran to mark major milestone

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Donnybrook skipper Shane Cristaldi is excited to celebrate his 200th SWFL game on Sunday at VC Mitchell Park.
Camera IconDonnybrook skipper Shane Cristaldi is excited to celebrate his 200th SWFL game on Sunday at VC Mitchell Park.

Decorated Donnybrook Football Club veteran Shane Cristaldi will line up for his 200th SWFL game on Sunday against Bunbury at VC Mitchell Park.

It’s been a memorable journey for the Dons skipper, who made his league debut back in 2006 while finishing high school.

“I was in Year 12 at school and it was against South Bunbury at Hands Oval,” he said.

“I think I only came on in the last quarter and I remember my first kick was a missed shot at goal.

“But we did have a win so it was definitely a good moment. I still remember getting soaked with Powerade in the middle of the team song.”

Cristaldi tasted the ultimate success last season when he proudly hoisted the premiership cup alongside Julian Burgess on the grand final dais.

It was a day that will stay with him forever and one of several points in his career which has made a lasting impact.

“Words really can’t do it justice, how much it meant to me,” Cristaldi said.

“I will be forever grateful to our playing group, coaching staff and everyone involved, it certainly was a special year and one that I will never forget.”

But along the journey, Cristaldi admits there have been plenty of challenges.

“I guess (the hardest was) when we were struggling as a league side and went through an entire season without winning a game,” he said.

“They were really testing times for all involved, especially us as players.”

Off the field, when the influential skipper isn’t carving it up in navy blue, he can be found enjoying plenty of rewarding activities.

“I love my cricket, golf and a bit of a punt here and there,” he said. “Along with spending time with my wife and my wonderful family.”

Bounce down is at 2.20pm on Sunday.

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