Narrogin Auskicker hands out grand final medal after ‘speccy’ Ryan inspires code hop to AFL

Campbell WilliamsonGeraldton Guardian
Uzoma with his mother, Adaku Ezeorakwe.
Camera IconUzoma with his mother, Adaku Ezeorakwe.

Flyin’ Ryan’s marks aren’t just an inspiration to footy players.

The speccy star has inspired a young West Aussie to code hop from soccer all the way to the AFL grand final.

Liam Ryan’s performances were part of what set Auskicker Uzoma Ezeorakwe, from Narrogin, on his way to forming a guard of honour to the Demons at half-time and presenting Melbourne’s Jake Bowey with his premiership medal on the big day in front of over 60,000 fans.

“I felt happy and nervous to present the medal,” Uzoma said.

It wasn’t until recently that Uzoma made the switch from soccer to footy.

Living in Victoria, Uzoma discovered Australian Rules football after moving to WA, falling in love with the game.

“He was playing footy with his friends at school and one day he came to me and said, ‘Mum, I think I love footy more’,” his motherAdaku Ezeorakwe said.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: The 1.79m Liam Ryan gets well above 2.08m Max Gawn of the Demons to take a mark in 2019 in the AFLPicture: Will Russell
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: The 1.79m Liam Ryan gets well above 2.08m Max Gawn of the Demons to take a mark in 2019 in the AFLPicture: Will Russell Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Uzoma said his favourites were Ryan and fellow Eagles star Nic Naitanui. “(Ryan) can ‘speccie’ people,” he said.

Liam Ryan of the Eagles takes a mark during the round 12 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the West Coast Eagles at Sydney Cricket Ground on June 06, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/AFL Photos)
Camera IconLiam Ryan of the Eagles takes a mark during the round 12 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the West Coast Eagles at Sydney Cricket Ground on June 06, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/AFL Photos) Credit: Matt King/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos, Matt King/AFL Photos

“I want to play like them.”

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