Jaiden Pengelly has forged an unbreakable bond with his Bull Sharks teammates.
Even with rival clubs in the AFL Queensland League knocking on his door, the popular midfielder has declared he’s a Bondy through and through.
The 26-year-old joined the club last season when he moved from Adelaide to study his Master of Sport Management at Bond University and was part of the QFA Division 2 South grand final team. Despite the Bull Sharks going down to the Burleigh Bombers, Pengelly’s consistent performance throughout the season saw rival coaches come calling.
But according to Pengelly they couldn’t compete with the camaraderie and culture of being a Bond Bull Shark
“I’ve had a bit of interest from Labrador and a couple of clubs in higher divisions, but the relationships I made with players in 2021 convinced me to play another season with Bond,” he said.
“Playing for the Bull Sharks definitely made me feel more associated with the University. Now I’m in my second year with the club, I have made a lot of friends who have either graduated or are still studying.”
Back in South Australia, Pengelly played juniors with Sturt Football Club before joining Pembroke Old Scholars for his senior football.
His skills and speed in the engine room means he is regularly targeted by the opposition, especially archrivals Coolangatta, who hassled him in the penultimate round of the regular season.
“Probably being a smaller sized midfielder, they think that getting into me physically will rattle me,” he said.
“But I have the support of my teammates which helps me feel confident playing my role and helps me to deal with that extra physical pressure.”
Unfortunately, the Bull Sharks round 18 game against Carrara was abandoned after a Carrara player broke his leg and waited more than half an hour for an ambulance. Because the injury happened before half time, the points were split between the two clubs.
The draw did not have an impact on Bond’s position on the ladder, they finished the regular season in third place.
They will next head to the border to battle minor premiers Coolangatta in the first week of finals.
“We’re very driven to (succeed), that’s the main focus at the moment. We’re very driven to want to win that flag in both grades.
“But it’s just making sure we go into every game with the right mindset and bring the energy that we need to win. There is a massive difference between our best footy and our worst footy,” he said.
Away from footy, Pengelly works in customer service and trading with betting company Top Sport based in Robina.