ANOTHER FLYIN’ RYAN TAKES OFF
Much like his older brother, West Coast star Liam Ryan, the sky is the limit for 15year-old Darren Ryan or “Bubba D”, who shares his sibling’s love of taking a screamer. The Rovers colts player hopes to join his big brother at the Eagles one day. Liam’s advice to his kid brother: “keep doing your thing, man”.
He looks and leaps like his big brother, and Darren “Bubba D” Ryan has the same dream to play for the West Coast Eagles.
There are a few steps to go before then, but 15-year-old Darren is well on his way to following in his big brother Liam’s footsteps.
The teenager has just finished his first season with Rovers colts, kicking a goal in a losing grand final to Brigades.
Darren said he enjoyed his colts season and playing against up to 19-year-olds, and was keen to follow Liam’s advice. “It was good, playing with the boys,” he said.
“He (Liam) just tells me to keep going.”
Premiership-winning league captain Farren Parfitt, a childhood friend of the Ryan family who came through the juniors with Liam and coaches Darren in colts, said the younger Ryan could go as far as he wanted to.
“I’ve known him since he was in nappies. I grew up with his brother. Him and his brother lived two houses up from me in Karloo,” Parfitt said.
“He’s got the talent to go play colts down there (in Perth), but he might have to wait for his opportunity.
“He’s (Darren) got the talent to go to wherever he wants to, he’s just got to put in the work. “It’s really up to him.” Parfitt said although Darren, a left-footer with a beautiful kick, was shorter than Liam, he shared one key same trait with his older brother — no fear.
“He doesn’t mind getting up there and giving it a crack,” he said.
“He plays exactly like Liam, a small man trying to go up for the
big marks, screamers.” Parfitt said Darren would have to show the same hunger as his brother to reach the pinnacle.
“He’s got to sacrifice a few things that he likes to do right now,” he said. “Stay away from a few of his mates, (no) going out partying — it all pays off.”
Parfitt tipped Darren for a possible run in the league team next year — if he had a growth spurt by Christmas.
And there could be another member of the Flyin’ Ryan family to watch out for: brother Michael,
12, could be a future Rovers recruit, again following in the footsteps of father Darren “Snotty” Ryan, a club champion who still plays at age 46.
Snotty has played more than
250 games, won two JJ Clune medals and achieved a legacy at the club that remains unmatched.
“He’ll come over soon,” Parfitt said of the youngest Ryan. “I’ll get him over.
“Liam and Bub D’s dad is a legend at Rovers, so they should all come here. We all say that his dad is the greatest player to play for Rovers.”
Darren Ryan, 15, at the Rovers ground.
Darren Ryan in action.