By Todd Whelan
MILESTONE games happen in footy every year, but when you can say you’re a 200 game one-club player at any level, it’s something else altogether.
Bacchus Marsh favorite son Tyson Shea will play his 200th game for the Cobras this Saturday when they meet North Ballarat at home, his home, Maddingley Park.
Club president Adam Sutherland and Club coach Travis Hodgson couldn’t speak highly enough of Shea, from his loyalty to the club, to his commitment and achievements as a player.
“Tyson is a player that has got the absolute very best out of himself…. a wonderful role model for the kids at our footy club.” Hodgson said.
Sutherland was full of praise for Shea the clubman. “(Tyson is) the consummate clubman, loves the club and is much loved by the club” he said.
At just 29, Shea shows no signs of slowing down, his durability and rap sheet thus far is one he, his family and his club should be proud of.
“Tys” as he known fondly around the club, debuted back in Round One 2006. The 17-year old was touted as a future leader of the club after a promising 16 games in his first season. Such was the interest and belief in the local product, Shea was bestowed with the senior captaincy position the following year – 18yo, 16 gamer, 2nd year player – unheard of.
Tyson took on the role with aplomb, leading the club for the next 10 years and ultimately to its crowning glory, the 2016 Premiership.
He would be starved of finals in his first 10 years as a player, nine as captain. Shea’s appetite for success and leadership by example never waned. The tenacious inside-mid would become an eight time best and fairest, represented the Ballarat Football League twice at the VCFL Championships and be named in the BFL’s team of the year on four occasions.
Tyson has seen it all through the journey, he’s shared the highs and the lows, he’s seen them come and go. Shea has been under the tutelage of five coaches at the club, former Western Bulldog champion Doug Hawkins, Adam Sutherland and current premiership coach Travis Hodgson to name a few.
Shea believes the club is in good hands.
“It’s (the club) in the best position in my time here…” he said.
“We’re well led off the field, coached well on it and the juniors are looking really good.”
The (now) veteran feels privileged to have played alongside and against some special talent over the years, acknowledging 2018 captain Scott Sherlock as the cream of the crop, the best he’s seen. Shea stood down as club captain at the end of 2017 to focus more on his young family, wife Simone and 14-month old daughter Myla.
Despite missing out on a potential father and son prospect with his first child; who’s to say the way footy is going, the Marsh may have a future father and daughter combo in the wings.
Like father, like daughter – we shall wait and see.