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Ryan wants to keep surprising himself

Luke Ryan spoke to media on Monday morning. Luke Ryan chats to Docker TV about his progress this pre-season.

Luke Ryan is happy to say he exceeded his own expectations in the 21-year-old's debut AFL season and is hoping to maintain this progress and build on his 11-game career.

In a season highlighted by the defender’s intercept marking ability, Ryan earned a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination after Freo’s round 20 clash with Gold Coast and wrapped up his season with the Simpson Medal as the best on ground in the WAFL Grand Final for Peel against Subiaco.

Approaching the end of his second pre-season with Fremantle, Ryan says he’s been able to build on his experience.

“I feel a lot stronger and a lot fitter, I had interruptions last pre-season but I feel a lot better now and I’m feeling a lot stronger,” Ryan said. 

“Having that year's experience and another year in the game, I feel like I know a whole lot more and I’m looking forward to a couple more years.”

“I can’t wait for the season to start.” 

Despite impressing with his ball use and decision making at the game’s highest level, Ryan remains modest and doesn’t see his place in the starting 22 as a lock.

“Hopefully, I’ll play a few more games this year and keep improving, even if I’m not playing (for Fremantle) I’ll be down at Peel and look at continuing to improve my craft,” Ryan said.

“I set a goal to play five (Fremantle) games (in 2017) but was lucky enough to get 11. I did surprise myself a bit but it’s given me the confidence to play a little bit more.

“No-one’s established (in the side) really, there’s always a massive fight for spots. We have a young backline, we’re all fit and ready to go, so I don’t feel safe at all, every week we take it as it comes.”

That competition is only a positive for Ryan, who feels Nathan Wilson can only improve Fremantle’s ability to move the ball out of defence.

“That’s a key thing for all of us, our ball use out of defensive 50 wasn’t that good last year,” Ryan said.

“Now we’ve got Nathan Wilson, our ball use is getting a lot better.

“We all have to work on a lot and as I said it’s going to be a massive fight for spots.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs