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Get to know our draft hopefuls - Ty Sears

Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 1:33 PM by Matthew Ogg

When you think of quiet achievers, you can’t go past Swan Districts defender, Ty Sears. A talented backman with run, speed and skill, the South Bunbury product is being touted as one to watch in the lead up to this year’s AFL Draft.

With a background in athletics, where he has won a gold medal representing WA, Sears is comfortable rebounding off half-back and pushing up into the midfield.

After a solid 2020 season where he averaged 17.8 disposals, 4.1 marks in defence and 4.3 inside 50’s a game, we caught up with Ty to talk about all things footy, athletics and more.


Have you always played footy?

No. I only started when I was in year 8 at school, so it’s only really been the last five or six years I’ve been playing. 


Were you playing any other sports before then?

I was really into athletics and was chosen to represent WA in Nationals a few times. I also played a little bit of basketball, but it was mainly athletics.


How did you go at Nationals?

I won Gold in Javelin and received Bronze in the 400m. It was very cool. Going over to Nationals and performing in front of all those people, it was an amazing experience. I’d get nervous before each event but it was really fun.


How did you come to represent WA?

I started when I was really young, probably like seven years old. Through all the training I did at little athletics, I became really quite decent at it and started going up to Perth to compete. I went well and it all just progressed for me from there.


You were selected to be part of a Talent Identification Program, which has seen a number of Olympians come from it. What was that like?

I was only really a part of it for a year or two, because I wanted to focus more on my footy. I found that the more I put into football, the athletics side went downhill a little. That’s when I made the decision to turn my whole focus to footy. 


Do you still practice any of the athletics events?

I still go for runs and things, but don’t do anything too professional anymore.


Where did you start playing footy?

In Bunbury. I grew up there and played for South Bunbury. We were pretty decent and seemed to always make the Grand Finals, but just couldn’t get over the line.


What made you think about pursuing football over athletics?

I just really enjoy playing footy a lot more. I find that being able to play with your mates is more fun and more rewarding than participating in an individual sport. I can also see that there is more of a future in footy, and there are greater possibilities.


Growing up in Bunbury, how did you get involved with Swan Districts?

The Bunbury zone put me in the Swans area, and I was asked to play at the club from that. I started in the under 16’s and played in the State 16’s carnival. Last year was my first year of Colts and I moved up to Perth this year so I could really focus on the season.


Did your family move up to Perth with you?

No, my family still mostly live in Bunbury. I have a sister in America and a brother that lives in Perth. I live with him at the moment.


When was it that you decided you would like to make footy your career?

It was mainly when I made the State 16’s side. That was when I thought that being a part of that team would actually give me a platform to start with. I also made it into the 2019/20 AFL Academy Squad which consisted of the top 50 under 18’s players throughout WA. That’s when I truly started to think I could pursue this as a career.


What position do you prefer to play in on the footy field?

Half-back is where they put me for State 16’s. I went really well there so they kept me there and helped develop me in that position. I think I’m stronger there, but really enjoy playing in the midfield. Down in Bunbury I pretty much played in the midfield as the better players would be put in the midfield in the local comps down there.


What strengths do you bring to the Swans?

I bring quite a bit of speed and run and carry. I’m active on the ball and my general skills and reading of the play is quite good.


What were your main focuses on the field this year?

I wanted to bring my best attributes to the field and really develop them even more, like my run and carry. My goal was to really cement my spot across half back, keep developing and get a few wins on the board. I think there are always areas you want to improve on and I definitely focused on that during the season.


Who would you liken yourself to in the AFL?
I would probably say someone like Brad Sheppard, Lachie Whitfield or Adam Saad. They have that run and carry and really try and set up the ball in the forward half. That's what I see myself as doing for the team. 


There has been some talk around the possibility of you being looked at for this season’s AFL Draft. Did you feel that pressure during the season to perform?

Honestly I try not to listen to it too much. Of course it's in the back of your head a bit, but I just try to focus on my footy and not worry about who may be in the crowd watching.


Take you to draft night. How do you feel about your name potentially being called out?

It would mean a lot. It’s all I want to do. I’ve moved out of home and up to Perth for it. All I’m doing at the moment is focusing hard on my footy to make that a reality.


Along with playing with the Swans, what else do you do?

During Covid, I moved back down to Bunbury and worked down there. I’m thinking about getting into Cyber Security or Health and Safety.


What footy team do you grow up barracking for?

The Eagles. It’s our family’s team. Everyone goes for the Eagles.