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Pears bears the fruit of his hard work

New recruit Tayte Pears

The baby of the Bombers list, new recruit, Tayte Pears, was just six months old when Essendon played in the 1990 grand final.

 

Now 17-years old, Pears - who was born on the 24th March, 1990 - was drafted by Essendon with pick 23 in Saturday's draft.

 

The 190cm, 92 kg backman from East Perth is known for his impressive decision making ability and excellent use of the ball.
 

""On draft day I was sitting with the family at home at Nanjimup, which is about four hours south of Perth, watching the computer but it kept freezing up,"" Pears said.

 

""Then I started getting all these calls from my mates saying 'congratulations' and I said 'what for ?' and they told me I had been taken by Essendon with pick 23.
 
""I was really stoked to be taken by a great club like Essendon. I didn't really have a preferred team growing up - which is probably a good thing - so it's awesome and I am so happy I got drafted to such a good club."" 

 

Pears was one of the younger stars in Western Australia's win in the under-18 championships and only qualified by just over a month to be eligible to go into the draft.

 

""I was happy with my carnival but the main thing is that we won, it was a great team effort,"" he said.

 

""I am good mates with David Myers (Essendon's pick 6) who also played in that team so it’s great he is going over to Essendon as well.

 

""I have spoken to Scott Gumbleton and Matthew Lloyd called me after I was drafted, which made me feel good. It was pretty scary talking to him, it was weird but he was a great guy and made me feel more comfortable.""

 

Growing up, Pears played up forward but moved to centre half back when he was 16-years old.

 

""I think my strengths are that I am pretty versatile, I like the one-on-one contest and shutting down an opponent,"" he said.  

 

""I would love to play an AFL match next year and anything after that would be a bonus but, first, I need to improve my fitness and I cant wait to get into the pre-season. I will just have to wait and see how it goes.""

 

Twelve clubs spoke to Pears before the draft and the former basketballer - who played for East Perth colts this year - is confident he still might grow a few more centimetres. 

 

""I am already taller than my parents but my dad's side of the family is pretty tall so I might still be growing,"" he said.

 

Pears recorded an outstanding 2.92 seconds for the 20m sprint – placing him in the top 10 percent of players at the 2007 NAB AFL Draft Camp.

 

List Manager, Adrian Dodoro, said it was a surprise that he was still in the mix when it came around to the Bombers' second selection.

 

“We feel he can handle a key defensive role and we feel he has the ability to develop into a key midfield player with a strong body,” Dodoro said.
 
Former Essendon player, Michael Prior, coached Pears in the East Perth colts this year and said he is a good decision maker, was rarely beaten at centre half back and is a good young kid. 
 
""There is alot of upside to him now he is in an AFL system because, unlike when he was in Perth, he won't be travelling so much now and he will be getting the best of everything and his improvement will really go up a level,"" Prior said.
 
""He has shown us that he is professional in his preparation and also in what he does after games because he really wants to go somewhere in his footy.
 
""I think he is suited to a key back role but we rotated him through centre half forward as well and he did some good things and changed the game for us on occassion as he can go forward and take a strong mark.""
 
 Hightlights footage of Tayte Pears will be available on Bomber.tv soon