Club Subiaco/Rover FC (Geraldton)
Position Small Forward
Draft Range: 3rd Round
- Excitement Machine: Regularly produces moments of magic on the field
- Elite Mark: He won the 2017 WAFL Mark of the Year
- Bernie Naylor Medallist: Booted 68 goals to take out the Bernie Naylor Medal
2017 WAFL LEAGUE STATISTICS
The son of former Claremont player Darren “Snotty” Ryan, Liam Ryan is one of the most dynamic players in the WAFL competition.
He burst onto the scene in 2016 after he made the move to Perth from Geraldton. In his first game for Subiaco, albeit at Reserves level, he booted six goals from 14 possessions and only lasted another three games in the Reserves, before climbing into the League side.
In his League debut against East Fremantle, he booted two goals from just nine possessions – however, it is worth noting that the Sharks dominated the Lions by 80 points in this game.
His breakout game came against East Perth in round 11, when he booted five goals from 14 possessions. He also had dominant outings against Claremont in round 14 (16 possessions & four goals), East Perth in round 21 (17 possessions & four goals), Peel Thunder in round 22 (12 possessions & four goals), and South Fremantle in the 2nd Semi-Final (10 possessions & four goals).
He was surprisingly overlooked at last year’s Draft, but bounced back with a vengeance in 2017.
By round 10 he had booted 33 goals – 10 clear of the next best in former Essendon player Leroy Jetta from Peel Thunder. In five of these games, he booted either four or more goals, including two six-goal hauls, which came against Perth and East Perth.
He continued his stunning form throughout 2017 and finished with 68 goals from 20 games – 15 ahead of South Fremantle’s Blaine Johnson.
WHY PICK HIM?
Ryan is a proven goalkicker, having booted 113 goals from 39 games the past two seasons at WAFL League level. This is an average of nearly three goals per game – an elite performance by a small forward.
He is also only 21-years-old, so he is a raw prospect who has enormous potential at the top level. He often creates moments of magic in the forward half due to his speed, skill and football intelligence – attributes that are very hard to come by.
His athleticism is elite, as is his ability to take incredible marks. He won the 2017 WAFL mark of the year, but what is more impressive is that he contributed four of the five finalists.
THE QUESTION MARKS?
The main question mark over Ryan is his endurance. However, the talented youngster has become more professional in 2017, and despite suffering from a cold, he recorded a respectable time in the Yo-Yo test at the recent WA State Combine.
Another question mark would be his defensive pressure, but this improved as the year progressed, and would no doubt benefit massively from entering an AFL environment.
Ryan is a special talent with x-factor. It is clear why he has drawn comparisons to Adelaide superstar Eddie Betts. Like Betts, Ryan is a goalkicker, is zippy and creative with ball in hand, and regularly produces eye-catching moments.
Any club that needs to bolster its forward stocks should consider the Bernie Naylor Medallist.