Effervescent West Coast Eagles forward Liam Ryan has signed a two-year contract extension tying him to the club until at least the end of the 2022 season.
Ryan, a hero of the 2018 premiership triumph over Collingwood in just his 13th game, has continued to blossom this year and his performances have been a highlight of the truncated 2020 campaign.
Now 52 games into his career, the excitement machine is revealing more about his game almost every match. He was arguably best afield and the match-winner against Essendon in round 15, and did all he could to lift the Eagles over the line against the Western Bulldogs.
“We’re delighted to extend Liam’s contract with the club,” said Craig Vozzo, General Manager – Football. “He is developing into an exceptional player, but his growth as a person in his three years at the club has also been significant.
“He is an important part of our club fabric and is highly regarded by his teammates and everyone else at the club.”
He won the 2017 Bernie Naylor Medal as the leading goal-kicker in the WAFL in 2017, kicking 58 goals when playing virtually as a full-forward for Subiaco.
Ryan, 179cm, belied his height to play that role and still dominated the air because of his exceptional athleticism.
Since joining the Eagles he has continued to grow, while still displaying those captivating aerial skills that bring fans through the gates (when they can) and draws them to television sets.
His blistering pace and work rate are also elite, as are his decision-making and skill execution. One passage of play from Sunday’s two-point heart-breaker against the Bulldogs will feature in all 2020 highlights reels.
He took possession between wing and half-forward, dodged and weaved, took on three Bulldogs, accelerated inside the forward 50 and then squared the ball to Tom Cole about 30 metres from goal.
Ryan, 23, has shown his durability, too, being one of seven Eagles to play all 15 games this year. The others have been Tom Barrass, Jack Darling, Andrew Gaff, Tim Kelly, Dom Sheed and Brad Sheppard.