Ryan Smith by Rex Nixon
There’s an old saying “Never judge a book by it’s cover” When it comes to
football this saying certainly fits Ryan.
Back in 2002/03 after playing in the U/16’s premiership for Palmerston and thanks to his friends
in Aidan Hill, John Anstess and Iggy Vallejo Ryan was convinced St Marys was the club to go to for improvement. Ryan then transferred from
Palmerston to play for St Marys as a U/18’s player in 2003/04
He played in St Marys Grand Final side of that year and in the U/18’s Premiership side in
2004/05. Anyone who saw this gangly kid play would have thought that would be as far as his football would take him but Ryan
has worked tirelessly on his skills and play making and has shown what a player can achieve when you commit yourself.
He started his League career in season 2005/06 under Coach Damian Hale and has played in two St
Marys League Premierships in 2008/09 and 2012/13. He was also a member of the St Marys Grand Final team of 2014/15
During his career so far he has been awarded the trophy in 2006/07 as the most improved player and
in 2008/09 and 2012/13 has been awarded the prestigious Noel Long trophy “Success through perserverance”
When NT Thunder were formed in 2009 Ryan was a member of the Squad and played four seasons (2009,
2010, 2011 and 2015) where he has played 44 games and kicked 13 goals
Ryan was also a member of NT Thunder’s first premiership and the cross conference Grand Finals
He also played in two Foxtel Cup matches against Morningside and East Perth in 2011.
He was also a member of the NT Thunder 2015 premiership team that defeated Aspley Hornets by one
In 2012 He played in the Northern
Central Football League for St Arnaud where he played 12 games. St Arnaud played
in a GF but unfortunately lost it by 1 point.
In 2013 He
played in the Goulburn Valley Football League where he played with Rochester FC where he played about 16 games and played
with Grant Weeks. They made a semi final but lost. He polled 7 votes in the League medal which was equal highest representative
In 2014 He played in the Mulwala
Murray football League and played 4 games.
When Ryan runs out on the 24/01/2015 against Darwin it will be his 100th first grade game not bad
for a kid that a lot of people didn’t think would make it.
In his time
Ryan has had a few injuries like when he broke his scaphoid and missed out on playing most of the year when Brett Hand was
coach (2007/08) and also a broken jaw when Brenton Toy coached (2009/10). Has had troubles with shin splints when Brenton
Toy and Damian Hale were coach (2010/11) He also has had multiple Staph infections and a broken thumb to start the 2014/15
season which caused him to miss Rd 1.
He has also
been hampered due to restrictions by an NT Thunder rule on the number of games a player is allowed to play in the NTFL for
his club in reaching his 100 game milestone.
will tell you that he doesn’t have the freakish ability of a Rioli or a Long He thanks his Mother Debra and Father Craig for inspiring him that hard work can get results in any
form of life in sport or out.
Ryan from all the members and supporters congratulations on reaching your 100 game milestone against
Darwin Buffaloes when you ran out on the 24/01/2015.
Note Unfortunately Ryan was struck down with shin problems and was limited to only 3 games in 2015/16
missing out on playing in the premiership. His tally to end of season 2015/16 now stands at 108 games and 33 goals.