Rising Ryan extends with Freo

Fremantle’s 2017 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Luke Ryan has agreed terms to a two-year contract extension with Fremantle.

The deal will see the exciting young defender in Fremantle colours until at least the end of the 2020 season, with the extension on top of the one year remaining in the 21-year-old’s original contract.

Emerging as a part of a developing core of young players at Fremantle, Ryan said he was looking forward to seeing what he can achieve with the club.

“I feel very excited and very privileged to be a part of Fremantle for the next three years,” Ryan said.

“I’m looking forward to it. We’re all quite young and playing together so, hopefully, we’ll stick with each other for a few more years.

“I can’t wait to see how we go this year and in the years to come.”

Ryan went close to breaking an AFL record in his debut season, with his nine intercept marks against Gold Coast in round 20 one short of the AFL record.

Luke Ryan showing his marking ability against North Melbourne in round 16

He impressed during his 11 AFL appearances despite a hampered pre-season, dealing with shoulder and ankle injuries earlier in the year.

The half-back went on to feature for Peel in the WAFL finals series in September, winning the Simpson Medal as best on ground in the WAFL Grand Final against Subiaco.

“I’m feeling a lot better (compared to this time last year),” Ryan said.

“I had the shoulder injury, so I didn’t do much running and I wasn’t as fit as I am now.

“I feel a lot fitter and a lot stronger. I can’t wait to get out on the track and start playing some games.”

Ryan joins no.2 pick Andrew Brayshaw in signing a contract extension with the club this week, with the young midfielder extending his original two-year deal through to the end of the 2021 season.

General manager of list management Brad Lloyd said the excitement building around Fremantle’s young list made it easier for young players to make the call to extend their time at Freo. 

“Luke’s settled in really well. We’ve got really good facilities and a vibrant young group coming through at Freo,” Lloyd said.

“It’s a good lifestyle for the players. Luke didn’t hesitate to with the extension and we’re keen to see him develop.”

According to Lloyd, securing Ryan was crucial for a growing Freo defence.

“Luke has a key role in a young backline, he reads the ball well, he’s a smart player, he’s good overhead, he’s courageous and he uses the ball really well off half-back,” Lloyd said.

“He’s come back to the club in really good shape and he’s run well. He’s in the early stages of pre-season and we feel like he’s setting himself up well.”