BRAEDEN Campbell got to stay in his home city following last year's draft, but it hasn't stopped the Sydney Academy product from mixing things up entering his debut AFL season.

Campbell, taken fifth in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft by Sydney after the Swans matched a bid from Hawthorn, has settled seamlessly into life on the senior list.

But it hasn't come without some change, as the 19-year-old told AFL.com.au.

Campbell has ditched the easier path of living at home, instead moving in with James Rowbottom and fellow Academy graduate Nick Blakey in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

"It is a bit weird," he laughed.

"A few of the boys were surprised I moved out of home, but my house is about an hour away, so I don't think 'Horse' (coach John Longmire) was happy with me driving in every morning and driving home, especially when I was tired.

"I thought the best thing to do for me was to move in, and with that I was able to bond well with the team, constantly around the boys.

"I'm happy I moved out."

02:46 Mins
Published on

Class of 2020: Why Braeden Campbell is Sydney's next Academy star

Top prospect Braeden Campbell shares the lessons he's learnt from his time in the Swans Academy

Published on

Like any teenager, there's been an adjustment period, with Campbell admitting the steepest learning curve has been cleaning his own clothes after being a "grub" at home.

With his off-field life settled, the dashing midfielder-turn-defender has sought about striking a balance in his life.

He said he had to be less footy-centric.

CIRCLE THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR The 20 matches of 2021 you won't want to miss

"In recent years I've purely just focused on footy, which was something I probably needed to do in my draft year.

"Now that I've made it, it's not like I've taken a backward step, it's more like I've got that to focus on and you also need an outlet.

"It's something I've had to work on.

"I'm in the water every day, whether that's surfing or having a swim.

"It's something that takes my mind away from AFL.

"I find it's really important to have something away from the game so you're not constantly thinking about it."

Whatever Campbell is doing has worked so far, with an impressive outing against Greater Western Sydney in the Swans' only AAMI Community Series match.

The left-footer gathered 18 disposals, including seven intercepts, with an disposal efficiency of 72 per cent.

He said the biggest adjustment since coming from the Academy had been learning to play in the backline.

"The Academy teaches us the Swans' game-style, so I already had a sense of how they wanted to play, how they moved the ball, before I got here.

"That made it a little bit easier.

"But it was hard the first few weeks (learning to defend).

"I've sat down with the line coaches and Dane Rampe and they're teaching me how to play that role in defence.

"I try to play to my strengths … but I'll try to expand as well.

"If I'm defending well, my attack will come naturally."