Richmond’s third pick (No. 28 overall) in the 2021 AFL national draft, Tyler Sonsie, has received a glowing endorsement from Danny Ryan, the talent manager at his NAB League team Eastern Ranges.
Ryan provided an insightful analysis of the classy teenage midfielder in the lead-up to the draft.
“There’s been a lot of talk around him. He’s a pretty incredible talent coming through,” Ryan said.
“If he has a good pre-season, he could easily slot into Round 1, Round 2 next year at a club, if all things go well over summer.
“He uses the ball unbelievably. The way he sees the game open up, left and right foot, he’s really dangerous.
“In traffic, he’s very clean to be able to get the ball from the inside to the outside of the contest, and he’s got the ability to roll forward.
“At under-14s inter-league, he really stood out, and he’s been part of our program since he was about 15. He was a part of the under-16s carnival back then (2019) and he was ranked very highly in the nationals and has really captured the interest of AFL clubs since then.”
The past two years has tested Sonsie’s resilience, as with other draft hopefuls, because of the lack of game time due to the interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sonsie also suffered a knee injury midway through the 2021 season that further restricted his on-field appearances.
Notwithstanding those setbacks, he remained steadfast in his quest for a place on an AFL club list.
“He got injured halfway through the year with bone-bruising on the knee. Once he was ready to return, COVID came and ended the season,” Ryan said.
“He’s probably only played five games of footy in two years.
“It’s been an incredibly frustrating period for Tyler, but he’s been working really hard. He’s in the gym doing a lot of strength and conditioning and trying to get himself in the best nick he can . . .
“If he had a clear run at it in the last two years, you’re probably looking at anywhere in the top 10 (for him to be selected in the draft).”