Toast ND Pick #66 - Luke Ryan


Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2015
AFL Club
Name: Luke Ryan
Position: Defender
Height: 186cm
Weight: 83kg
DOB: 6 February 1996
Club: Coburg VFL
Player Comparison: Easton Wood


Luke Ryan is a rebounding defender who reads the play exceptionally well and is the state-leagues biggest bolter for 2016. Ryan signed on late for Coburg in 2016 after spending 2015 as a 19-year-old at the Calder Cannons and missing the cut for this year’s Essendon VFL squad.

He made his debut in Round 3 for Coburg in the VFL against Box Hill where he was adjudged best on the ground winning the Gibbs-Lines in a 30 disposal, 12 mark and 10 rebound-50 performance.

Ryan is a clean user of the ball around the ground with great decision making as well as being a competent defender when made to defend in one-on-one situations.

His play-reading ability is what has clubs most excited about this mature-aged recruit, who a top 20 possibility in this year’s draft.

  • Reading of the play
  • Ball use
  • Decision making
  • Intercept marking
  • Versatility
Ryan’s best strength is his reading of the play. There is no better player in the state leagues who is able to judge the movement of the ball and be able to make the correct decision of whether to peel off and spoil/mark or to stay on his direct opponent.

Another strength that entices AFL clubs is his efficient use of the ball. His ability to be able to rebound the ball effectively out of the defensive half for Coburg was a reoccurring highlight, going at 86% by foot. His work by hand also showed to be useful, as he used his hands well throughout the year to set his team-mates into space and launch the play for the Lions.

The decision making of the Coburg defender has been close to his best highlight of his season, coupling this with his ball use. Using the time and space he creates for himself, he uses his high “Footy IQ” to be able to fit the right target to dispose too. He also has a knack of finding the lateral target that other players might not be able to see in time.

But the biggest strength in Ryan’s game is the showing of his intercept marking. As mentioned before, his elite “Footy IQ” allows him to nearly 100% of the time pick the correct option, of whether to peel off and intercept mark, or stay on his direct opponent. He averaged 6 marks a game in 2016 which showed off this.

Versatility was a question after his blistering start to 2016, but coach Peter German helped put those queries to rest. Ryan was played deep at stages and before his season-ending shoulder injury had also been trialled in the midfield and also as the 3rd tall in the forward line.

  • Voice
  • Contested ball
An on-field weakness of Ryan is his lack of communication out on the ground. Even though his work around the ground is a strength, he is not heard very often by others around him, and sometimes does hinder his production. It seems though throughout 2016 he improved on this but will still be an area he’ll have to look to improve, but will need to continue to work on it when he steps into that AFL environment.

Often in games Ryan collects most of his possessions in uncontested situations. Watching his games at times he can just collect his possessions easily without very little attention in defence. This will likely change at AFL level and he won’t have the opportunities to drop off and mark the ball contested.


Luke Ryan models his game on Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood, and also shows shades of Josh Gibson in his play. Like Wood and Gibson, he reads the play remarkably well and is able to peel off and gather intercept possessions. Also like Wood, has great athleticism and a leap with the ability to take high-flying marks.

He currently sits in the 15-40 range on draft night, with clubs such as the Western Bulldogs (Picks 18 & 26), Sydney (19) and Essendon (20) are teams who have shown interest in the mature-age prospect, with all clubs bar GWS & Carlton interviewing him and numerous clubs have visited his home on multiple occasions.

Ryan has the scope to potentially play midfield at the next level but he seems destined for a half-back role, possibly allowing a clubs youngster be able to slot into a midfield spot. Contested ball was a query, but registered a contested possession percentage of 40% this year.



(Log in to remove this ad.)

anchor man

Club Legend
Apr 6, 2001
Success WA
AFL Club
Other Teams
Dynamic Dockers &South Fr
A great signing for the club.He , in my opinion, is a member of our A graders.Second only in intercept marks to McGovern .

Top Bottom