Player Watch #4 Ryan Clarke

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Brownlow Medallist
Jul 20, 2001
AFL Club
Other Teams
Sydney Swans
Kid has a great attitude. Confident he will make something of himself in Sydney.

RYAN Clarke likes to play direct football and the midfielder-defender was forthright about why he chose to move to Sydney from North Melbourne … the Swans’ track record of turning good players into great ones.

“Sydney get the most out of their players,” the 21-year-old said.

“When I was making my decision about whether or not to come to Sydney it was a big factor.

“I’m looking forward to learning and getting better as a footballer.”


Clarke has been on the Swans’ radar for years. An early endorsement of Clarke’s long term prospects came when Swans recruiting guru Kinnear Beatson spotted him as a teenager playing for the Eastern Rangers in the TAC Cup.

“Kinnear was the first person from an AFL club I spoke to,” Clarke said.
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Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
AFL Club
One benefit of having a player like Clarke who seems OK at both the inside and outside is having Florent not have to be so contested. He spent probably more time playing inside this year than he should’ve had to, and even though his hands are silky as, we really need Florent for his outside run and class. He was the Hannebery that Hannebery himself couldn’t be, but if Clarke becomes that Hanners type.. Florent to the wing and leave him there.


All Australian
Aug 12, 2017
AFL Club
North Melbourne
My only concern from that video is the number of times his kicks went straight to opposition players, which is apparently the knock that Roos fans had on him.
Not all North fans. Not happy at all we gave Ryan away for virtually nothing, My opinion you guys have had a huge win here. Good luck to Clarke and i hope he kills it at the Swans.

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Club Legend
Nov 23, 2016
AFL Club
Other Teams
Crystal Palace
My only concern from that video is the number of times his kicks went straight to opposition players, which is apparently the knock that Roos fans had on him.
so there were two kicks in that 11+ mins highlights package that went straight to the opposition. one was to a marking contest where the vic player got pushed in the back and the other was a hack kick from a stoppage that went to a marking contest that the opposition won. in the next play he hack kicks out of a stoppage and it goes to a teammate : pure luck. there were two other kicks that missed the target without going straight to the opposition. one short, the other 50 metres.


Hall of Famer
Aug 22, 2012
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
West Ham United
From what I have heard he played as more of an inside player before being drafted. He averaged 5 clearances a match in the TAC Cup.
He’s more of your classic in and out accumulative midfielder. He’s not an inside brute like your Kennedy’s or your Cunnington’s, but he just racks up disposals, a lesser skilled and experienced link up version of Mitchell I guess is the best summation of Ryan’s midfield career.

He barely played as an inside mid at north. He did a couple times this year at vfl level and did well. The form didn’t transition well to afl level, primarily because we didn’t persist with him in that position due to various boring reasons.
So he’s already well drilled to our game plan then


Oct 19, 2008
AFL Club

Swans recruit ready to fill vacant Hannebery role

SYDNEY recruit Ryan Clarke has set himself to step into the role vacated by Dan Hannebery in the Swans' powerful midfield brigade in 2019.

Clarke, who arrived in Sydney from North Melbourne during last month's NAB AFL Trade Period, played predominantly in defence in his 19 matches this year, but the natural onballer wants to get back up the ground at his new club.

"My target is to play in the ones and play in the midfield so that’s something I'll have a crack at," he said.

"There's some superstars of the modern game in the Swans' midfield so I'm really looking forward to getting started (with them), and I'm going to try and soak up as much information as I can.

"I had some really good midfielders like Shaun Higgins and Ben Cunnington to learn from at North Melbourne.

"I'm also looking forward to adding a few more strings to my bow, like consistency, getting a bit better on the inside, and adding some polish on the outside.


Mila Kunis #1 fan
Jun 14, 2011
Wherever Mila is
AFL Club
Other Teams
Baghdad Bombers
I'm actually pretty confident he is going to be a great pick up for us.

Will average at least 22 disposals a match for us next year as a midfielder.
Can't be any worse than Hanners the last two years. Still makes me sad knowing he is gone but I also believe Clarke will surprise a few next year.


Premiership Player
Aug 20, 2009
AFL Club
I don't want to over-hype him, but I get a bit of a Josh Kennedy vibe about Clarke. Both arrived at the club after a few years on AFL lists at 21 years of age. Both your modern 6 foot tall midfielders, weighing around the 90kg mark. Clarke has been played in defence by North but as a junior was a ball-winning midfielder. Good to read that Clarke is planning to spend the summer shadowing Kennedy:

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