Paddy Ryder

Patrick Ryder (born 14 March 1988) is an Australian rules footballer playing for the St Kilda Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Formerly playing for Essendon and Port Adelaide in the AFL, he was traded to St Kilda after the 2019 season. Ryder has speed, agility and leap for someone of his size and it is these attributes that had Kevin Sheedy compare him to Indigenous Australian rules football star Graham "Polly" Farmer.[1]

Paddy Ryder
Ryder in his playing days for Port
Personal information
Full name Patrick Ryder
Date of birth (1988-03-14) 14 March 1988
Original team(s) East Fremantle (WAFL)
Draft No. 7, 2005 national draft
Height 197 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 94 kg (207 lb)
Position(s) Ruckman / Forward
Club information
Current club St Kilda
Number 18
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
20062014 Essendon 170 (117)
20152019 Port Adelaide 073 0(54)
2020 St Kilda 00 0(0)
Total 243 (171)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2019.
Career highlights
Source: AFLTables

Early life

Ryder's father, Revis Ryder, played football for East Fremantle.[2]

Ryder was part of the AFL under-18 All-Australian team and represented Australia in the under-18 international rules in Ireland. He had a successful career in the West Australian Football League (WAFL), playing for the East Fremantle Football Club.

AFL career

Essendon (2006-2014)

Essendon secured Ryder with its first selection in the 2005 AFL Draft, which was the seventh pick in the league.

He made his debut in round 1, 2006, against Sydney and mostly played ruck. The Bombers defeated the 2005 premiers by 27 points, in what would be their only win for the first 16 rounds of the season and Ryder's only win that year.[3]

Ryder was awarded a NAB Rising Star nomination for his efforts in Round 1, 2007. He won the Anzac Medal in 2009 after teammate David Hille was injured in the opening minutes of the game, resulting in Ryder rucking unassisted for the rest of thde game.

Ryder played his 100th AFL game in Round 6, 2011, in a match where Essendon defeated the Gold Coast Suns by 139 points.[4]

Ryder's improved form in the second half of the 2013 season after struggling with poor output and low confidence saw him play a big role in Essendon’s push to the finals. He played mainly in the ruck, where his tap-work was crucial, and also played forward and in defence.

Ryder remained a vital part of the Essendon outfit, firstly as a ruckman and then as an option as he pushed forward with his pace and high-marking ability. Ryder had a solid start to 2014, including a two-goal performance in round 9 against Sydney.

Port Adelaide (2015-2019)

At the end of the 2014 season, Ryder left Essendon with reports saying that he and his wife Jess were concerned for the health of their unborn child after he was allegedly told of the potential risks of the supplements program when interviewed by ASADA.[5] He nominated Port Adelaide as his preferred club of destination.[6] On 16 October, he was traded to the Power.[7]

Being Port Adelaide's big name recruit for season 2015, Ryder was unable to take part in the pre-season trial matches and was only cleared from his provisional suspension a few prior to the round one game against Fremantle due to the ASADA drugs investigation. He played in 18 games for the Power, which included games where he kicked three goals in both showdowns and a four goals against his former club Essendon.

Ryder, along with 33 other past and present Essendon players, was found guilty of using a banned performance enhancing substance, thymosin beta-4, as part of Essendon's sports supplements program during the 2012 season. He and his team-mates were initially found not guilty in March 2015 by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal,[8] but a guilty verdict was returned in January 2016 after an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency. He was suspended for two years which, with backdating, ended in November 2016; as a result, he served approximately 14 months of his suspension and missed the entire 2016 AFL season.[9]

In the 2017 season, Ryder became one of the best ruckman in the league. Eventually, he was named an All Australian ruckman and John Cahill Medalist as a best and fairest player for the club.

St Kilda (2020-present)

At the conclusion of the 2019 AFL season, Ryder requested a trade to St Kilda. The trade was finalised on 15 October and Ryder was traded to St Kilda along with Port teammate Dougal Howard and pick 10 and a 2020 fourth-round selection, in return for the Saints' picks 12 and 18 and a 2020 third-round selection.[10] Ryder nominated to join St Kilda ahead of his former club Essendon. He chose to leave Port Adelaide due to a perceived lack of opportunity in the ruck division at the Power. Of the move, Ryder stated that "I guess the way things have panned out at Port Adelaide over the past couple of years is Port Adelaide’s brought in Scotty Lycett, who's a terrific ruckman, and they've got a couple of young blokes on the list that probably need a bit more time to develop. And I guess being my age and stuff I’m taking away that opportunity for them, so I'm very understanding of the football club and respect their decision. But I feel like I've still got a lot more to give, so I'll be going down to Moorabbin." On choosing to join the Saints ahead of his former team, Ryder admitted that he was leaning towards joining the Bombers initially until he toured their facilities; "I just didn't get like a really, really good feeling from going back there", said Ryder in October 2019. "But then I went down to Moorabbin and it was a sense of like excitement and in the end thats what I ended up basing my decision on."[11]


Statistics are correct to the end of the 2019 season [12]
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles  H/O  Hit-outs
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T H/O G B K H D M T H/O
Totals Averages (per game)
2006 Essendon 309222819471410390.
2007 Essendon 3021311141062209949570.
2008 Essendon 3022541191032229047510.
2009 Essendon 302112912114126272994240.
2010 Essendon 3021211213911325287944161.
2011 Essendon 30232715175118293111663291.
2012 Essendon 301517101238120489383291.
2013 Essendon 30171031368422067553880.
2014 Essendon 3021201616410727185565491.
2015 Port Adelaide 418181210910121068364121.
2016 Port Adelaide 40
2017 Port Adelaide 42211817010827871638310.
2018 Port Adelaide 416104817415549384890.
2019 Port Adelaide 41715121056116648403810.
Career 243 171 108 1584 1216 2800 950 691 4695 0.7 0.4 6.5 5.0 11.5 3.9 2.8 19.3


  1. "Is Paddy Ryder the best ruckman in the AFL this season?". NITV. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  2. "Club honours indigenous players". Melville Times. Community Newspaper Group. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  3. "Bombers upset Swans", ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
  4. "Essendon obliterate Gold Coast Suns", The Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2011.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Twomey, Callum (31 March 2015). "Thirty-four present and former Bombers cleared of all drug charges". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. Travis King (12 January 2016). "Guilty: court bans the Essendon 34 for 2016". Australian Football League. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  10. "Saints' double delight: Power pair off to Moorabbin". Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  11. "Ryder: I didn't get a good feeling from Bombers". The West Australian. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  12. "Paddy Ryder". AFL Tables. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
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