Ryan Lester is one of only three Lions players left from the '10 and '11 Drafts
5:45pm Feb 20, 2014
Ryan Lester took a different approach to Valentine's Day this year
8:11am Feb 19, 2014
Junior Clubs: Mulgrave
Clubs: Brisbane Lions
Deut: Rd 1 2011
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Brownlow Votes: -
Ryan Lester is a versatile 191cm utility whose speed and strength allows him to play up forward, back in defence or even in the midfield. Although still at the beginning of his AFL development, he looks set to become a key component of the Lions' future.
• Lester proved a promising talent as a teenager, but was unfortunately dealt some hard luck through injuries during his final year with the Oakleigh Chargers in the U18 TAC Cup.
• An ankle troubled him through his final pre-season with the Chargers, before a fractured thumb just five minutes into the TAC Cup season left Lester watching from the sidelines. But he fought his way back onto the field after eight weeks and, to his own surprise, he made the Vic Metro side for the National U18 Championships.
• But in the final game of the Championships, Lester strained his hamstring which kept him out of a couple TAC Cup games. Then, in the last game of the TAC Cup season, he went over on his ankle again, missed the Chargers' first final and then hobbled through the rest of the finals.
• While his height would suggest he could play forward or back, Lester suggests his preferred position as a junior was in the midfield. However, he shone during a cameo run at full-back for Vic Metro during the National Championships which further proved his incredible versatility.
• The Lions ultimately drafted Lester with the Club's second round selection (Pick No.28 overall) at the 2010 AFL National Draft.
• On the back of his third pre-season, Lester got himself stronger and fitter with an eye of playing more minutes in the midfield, but missed out on being selected in the team's triumphant NAB Cup Grand Final side.
• He managed just one senior game, and was an emergency three times in the first five matches of the season, before a breakout game against Sydney at the SCG saw him collect a career-best 27 disposals (17 contested) and lay six tackles.
• He went on to play in 15 of the final 17 matches, and averaged 16.8 disposals per game - his best return since arriving at the Club.
• Lester made news for probably the wrong reasons in the team's final match of the season against Geelong at Simonds Stadium, when he missed a hurried snap in front of goal in the dying seconds. A goal at that critical stage would have not only given his side a remarkable victory away from home against the second-placed Cats, but potentially even an unlikely finals berth. As it turned out, a win wouldn't have been enough for the Lions to feature in September anyway, which helped ease the burden on the young Victorian.
• After an injury disrupted first season, Lester completed a full pre-season and quickly became a regular member of the Lions’ senior side.
• He played in all but three of the team’s 22 matches – two of which were official ‘rests’ as the Club tried to keep him fresh throughout the year.
• He proved himself a genuine utility, playing roles up forward, down back, and even in the midfield. His versatility gave the Lions’ coaching staff the luxury, and confidence, of having him available to plug holes as needed.
• He averaged over 15 disposals for the season and finished 17th in the 2012 Club Champion voting.
• Lester proved the bolter of the Lions' crop of 2010 draftees, impressing coaches with his fitness throughout the pre-season period.
• He earned a regular place in the Club's pre-season campaign, playing predominantly as a third tall forward option. His safe hands and football smarts proved a feature of his game.
• Such was his form over summer, Lester was one of three Lions selected to make his debut in Round 1 against Fremantle at the Gabba. He proceeded to collect 16 disposals, take six marks and kick a goal in his first-up senior effort.
• He kept his senior spot in each of the team's first three matches, before a stress reaction in his foot discovered after Round 3 resulted in an extended period on the sidelines.
• As it turned out, the injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season. But in just three games, Lester always looked suited to the senior AFL stage.
|Handballs||14||West Coast Eagles||Rd 17|
|Hit-outs||3||Sydney Swans||Rd 7|
|Tackles||9||St Kilda||Rd 6|
|Goals||1||Sydney Swans||Rd 7|
|AFL Fantasy||103||St Kilda||Rd 6|
|1||Hawthorn||L 139 - 91||10||10||20||3||0||3||0||8||0||0||94|
|2||Geelong Cats||L 68 - 93||7||9||16||2||0||4||0||4||0||0||65|
|3||Gold Coast Suns||L 114 - 61||9||12||21||1||0||3||2||3||0||0||63|
|4||Port Adelaide||L 159 - 46||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|5||Richmond||L 63 - 106||13||13||26||4||1||1||1||4||1||0||98|
|6||St Kilda||W 79 - 82||11||10||21||3||3||1||0||9||0||1||103|
|7||Sydney Swans||L 44 - 123||10||7||17||5||3||0||0||5||1||0||88|
|8||Essendon||L 57 - 65||5||14||19||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||57|
|9||North Melbourne||L 125 - 38||11||10||21||6||1||0||0||4||0||0||88|
|11||Carlton||W 98 - 91||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|12||Western Bulldogs||W 87 - 95||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|13||GWS Giants||L 80 - 125||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|14||Fremantle||L 105 - 22||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|15||North Melbourne||W 70 - 66||4||6||10||3||1||0||0||5||0||0||54|
|16||Richmond||L 79 - 54||11||9||20||6||1||1||0||2||0||0||79|
|17||West Coast Eagles||L 64 - 76||6||14||20||4||1||2||0||5||0||0||81|
|18||Gold Coast Suns||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|TOTAL||W: 4 - L: 12||97||114||211||40||12||15||3||50||2||1||870|
|Kicks||13||Richmond||Rd 5, 2014|
|Handballs||17||Sydney Swans||Rd 6, 2013|
|Disposals||27||Sydney Swans||Rd 6, 2013|
|Marks||9||GWS Giants||Rd 8, 2012|
|Hit-outs||3||Sydney Swans||Rd 7, 2014|
|Tackles||9||St Kilda||Rd 6, 2014|
|Goals||2||Geelong Cats||Rd 23, 2013|
|AFL Fantasy||106||Sydney Swans||Rd 6, 2013|
AFL Brisbane Lions: 22 games, 5 goals
Victoria Metro U18 Representative