Geraldton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - REUBEN CARDER

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.”

Pic­tures: Getty Im­ages, Barry Mitchell

Pic­tures: Barry Mitchell/Sna­paction

Dar­ren Ryan, 15, at the Rovers ground.

Dar­ren Ryan in ac­tion.

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