Player Watch #4 Ryan Clarke

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Ryan Clarke

Player Profile

The Sydney Swans recruited Ryan Clarke from North Melbourne ahead of season 2019 and he’s since shown promising signs as a young midfielder. The number four is a prolific ball-winner and can also be used to blanket a star on-baller, which he proved last year in shutting down gun Kangaroo Shaun Higgins and classy Magpie Steele Sidebottom. Clarke played 14 senior games in a stop-start 2019 campaign and has set his sights on cementing a spot in coach John Longmire’s best 22 this year. Draft history: 2015 National Draft selection (North Melbourne), No. 31 overall

Ryan Clarke

DOB:17 June 1997
DEBUT:2016
DRAFT:2015
RECRUITED FROM: Rowville (Vic)/Melb Grammar (Vic)/Eastern U18/North Melb

 
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S120

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 19, 2011
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He looks like he has little to no confidence in his ability with the ball. His first instinct is almost always to handball to someone, anyone around him no matter how worse a position they're in. And in the last quarter when he had the ball 35m out from goal with little pressure on him and he pops it up to the square to Menzel in a bad position...

The odd thing is that he gets to OK positions to win the ball and he tackles pretty hard and he's clearly a disciplined tagger. But his decision-making and skill execution are just horrific. I can't see how the players have much confidence in him when he gets the ball.
 

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Olian

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 12, 2013
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He would be weakest kick in the team. Most of his kicks won’t go further than 35 metres. When he handballs it’s too hard for a teammate to take it or he misses the target altogether.

But he’s a great tagger just don’t let him touch the ball.
 

sataris

Perfect Marshmallow
Feb 15, 2015
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He would be weakest kick in the team. Most of his kicks won’t go further than 35 metres. When he handballs it’s too hard for a teammate to take it or he misses the target altogether.

But he’s a great tagger just don’t let him touch the ball.
As a tagger he'll usually never have possession anyway.

it's his tackle numbers that are important.
 

S120

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And for all that his errors were very noticeable, the majority of his touches were actually pretty decent. 70% efficiency, just one clanger.
That clanger stat is very misleading. Particularly in the first half his disposals were putting pressure on other players around him by not picking a good option. His intent was to handpass as soon as he got it, like to get it out of his hands ASAP.. They hit the target but they were putting teammates under a lot of presusre and numerous turnovers came from it.
 

BarneyBent

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Aug 25, 2008
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That clanger stat is very misleading. Particularly in the first half his disposals were putting pressure on other players around him by not picking a good option. His intent was to handpass as soon as he got it, like to get it out of his hands ASAP.. They hit the target but they were putting teammates under a lot of presusre and numerous turnovers came from it.
Agreed - I’m not saying his disposal was good. As I said, he had some terrible, terrible disposals in the first half. But his second half was actually pretty solid, which is reflected in his DE coming back up to 70%.
 

MC Bad Genius

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Apr 15, 2008
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I know he's very limited as a player, but I feel like with Brett Kirk in the coaches box, he could still turn into a useful player for us. He's coming from a bit further back, but Kirk was played as a tagger because his disposal wasn't great, but he built up his skills and developed a greater understanding of his limitations, which I think will be the key to his development.
 

Tedeski

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Oct 2, 2006
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Having watched the replay, I noticed he has an incredible tank. He did some very heavy stuff which far outweighs anything negative in his game. He has heart so a typical Swans player who just will improve with hard work & faith from his peers around him. Second & third efforts are second to none IMO.
 

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caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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I know he's very limited as a player, but I feel like with Brett Kirk in the coaches box, he could still turn into a useful player for us. He's coming from a bit further back, but Kirk was played as a tagger because his disposal wasn't great, but he built up his skills and developed a greater understanding of his limitations, which I think will be the key to his development.
I agree that there’s enough there to work with to suggest he could be a player, but he’s not there yet. Not even close. So can’t part of his development with Kirk and whoever else happen in the reserves? He is not AFL standard right now.
 

TheMase

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Jul 20, 2001
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He certainly has some AFL attributes. He is an elite runner, gets into good positions and gets involved. Works hard.

On the flip side he lacks composure big time. His handballs are either too hard to his teammate or they are slow “loopy” handballs that contribute to his team mate being under pressure (either a hospital ball or the movement is slow enough for the opposition to apply pressure on the receiver).

His kicking is ok in the sense it gets to its destination mostly but again, it’s a non direct up and under kick that invites in the defence.

If he can sort that stuff out, he will be able to make an AFL career for himself.
 

BarneyBent

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He certainly has some AFL attributes. He is an elite runner, gets into good positions and gets involved. Works hard.

On the flip side he lacks composure big time. His handballs are either too hard to his teammate or they are slow “loopy” handballs that contribute to his team mate being under pressure (either a hospital ball or the movement is slow enough for the opposition to apply pressure on the receiver).

His kicking is ok in the sense it gets to its destination mostly but again, it’s a non direct up and under kick that invites in the defence.

If he can sort that stuff out, he will be able to make an AFL career for himself.
Kicking is fine IMO. He’ll never be a Dawson or a Franklin, but I think he’s adjusted to his limits and doesn’t try to bite off more than he can chew most of the time.

His hand skills are sloppy but most of the time it looked like he just fumbled a bit and that always put himself under a bit of extra pressure, leading to panic. Some intensive work on clean collects and handballs should hopefully help in that regard.

I remember in the preseason he actually looked pretty clean and effective by hand in traffic, so it might be psychological - a bad early touch and it gets into his head.

I guess we’ll see, but I honestly think he is a net contributor and people are being super harsh. He’s AFL standard, but with some big, big areas for development.
 

MC Bad Genius

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I agree that there’s enough there to work with to suggest he could be a player, but he’s not there yet. Not even close. So can’t part of his development with Kirk and whoever else happen in the reserves? He is not AFL standard right now.
That's definitely a fair call. I'd say they were valuing his negating role, which over the last few weeks has been AFL standard. Not sure who he was lining up on last night though as I was at the game and not really paying attention to him.
 

The Gong

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Oct 24, 2012
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Might be doing great as a tagger but if you undo that with so many turnovers from pretty diabolical delivery then is it worth it?

Better having a better quality user and maintain possession.

He's not a lost cause but needs to work on skills and game sense.
 

Tedeski

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Except JPK is a colossus in close and won way more contested ball than he turned over. No comparison really, Ted.
Just that he has a tendancy to be a ball butcher at times but we forgive it because as you say, he is a colossus in his strengths. Just saying that 10 games or so i for our club, the guy is trying to find his spot.
Edit. Sorry I meant 10 games for our club.
 
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Heeney2Franklin

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Nov 20, 2007
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Might be doing great as a tagger but if you undo that with so many turnovers from pretty diabolical delivery then is it worth it?

Better having a better quality user and maintain possession.

He's not a lost cause but needs to work on skills and game sense.
Its pretty obvious his position in the team will never be fully secure he was dropped earlier in the year then racked up 40 possies in the NEAFL.
 

Kirkswan

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May 10, 2014
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Well... I was there and I thought he played pretty well actually.

In fact, for a 22yro who's played 9 games, and who's gone straight into the middle rather than the usual up front or down back apprenticeship, I think he's doing really well! There's a reason most players get to ease their way into the game via the forward and back line, getting used to the speed and intensity of AFL.

Just my opinion of course, and sure, he's got some things to work on, but c'mon guys... give him a break! He's doing okay...
 

Grand Uncle Horace

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May 24, 2017
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Well... I was there and I thought he played pretty well actually.

In fact, for a 22yro who's played 9 games, and who's gone straight into the middle rather than the usual up front or down back apprenticeship, I think he's doing really well! There's a reason most players get to ease their way into the game via the forward and back line, getting used to the speed and intensity of AFL.

Just my opinion of course, and sure, he's got some things to work on, but c'mon guys... give him a break! He's doing okay...
Fair points. I would just like him to spend his spare time and the off season doing handballing and kicking drills in the park.
 

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