GNFL high-flyer Kristerfer Ryder opens up about his ‘mark of the century’ contender

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaMidwest Times
VideoKris Ryder, the cousin of St Kilda star Paddy, took this incredible mark playing in the GNFL on Saturday.

Geraldton’s footy scene produced Flyin’ Ryan — now it can lay claim to High Ryder.

Great Northern Football League skywalker Kristerfer Ryder channelled West Coast’s leaping livewire Liam Ryan with one of the most remarkable hangers caught on film last weekend.

The Brigades forward says he was just “acting on instinct” when he went up for the mark, with the footage quickly going viral and being described by some as a “mark of the century” contender.

Ryder, cousin of St Kilda ruck star Paddy Ryder, rose in the second quarter at GBSC Sport Park to take the huge grab in Brigades’ resounding 108-point win over Towns.

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Making the mark more incredible was the fact the ball was kicked to the top of the square by his brother, Jamie.

Sitting off the back of the goal square, Ryder got a great run to launch on to to the back of teammate Dale Williamson to mark the ball on his chest about 3m in the air, sending the modest crowd lucky enough to witness it into raptures.

Ryder said he was acting on instinct when he saw the ball coming.

“I just knew I had to jump. I didn’t think I was going to get that high but once I was on top of Dale I saw I was a good 2-3m off the ground,” he told The Midwest Times.

“I had to actually slow down and settle myself to make sure I kicked the goal cause the crowd was going off and I ended up doing a celebration dance after.”

His brother Jamie, who kicked five goals in the game, was just as shocked as the crowd and later told him to keep an eye on his social media, suspecting the mark would go viral.

Kristerfer Ryder was flying all day.
Camera IconKristerfer Ryder was flying all day. Credit: Artic Moon Photography

The video turned out to be a social media hit, shared and commented on by some big footy names, including Port Adelaide great and commentator Kane Cornes and former West Coast Eagles player and 7NEWS presenter Adrian Barich.

“I kept my eye on it in the morning and all of a sudden my phone started blowing up and I didn’t really know what to do,” Ryder said.

“Both mine and my girlfriend’s phone haven’t stopped since then but it’s been good, I’m lucky they caught on camera,”

Ryder’s AFL cousin hasn’t had a chance to comment yet.

“Paddy hasn’t seen it yet hopefully he has something good to say about it, although I reckon he might just say he took one better,” he joked.

Brigades coach Cory Foot described Ryder’s spectacular mark as “fame making”.

Ryder’s speccy overshadowed Williamson’s milestone 200th game, which also saw the Brigades spearhead become the first player in GNFL history to kick 800 goals.

“Dale came up to me afterwards and said ‘good mark mate, I let you use me as a step ladder’. It was pretty special to get him involved on his 200th game and 800th goal,” he said.

Williamson was circumspect about his big day being overshadowed by his teammate’s high-flying exploits.

Kristefer Ryder at the ground he took his mark.
Camera IconKristefer Ryder at the ground he took his mark. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

“It was pretty special, once I knew it was him but at the time I thought it was a Towns’ player, so that’s why I grabbed his leg, I was not very impressed, then I was like ‘oh no, you can have that’,” he said.

“It was unreal, apparently they’re going to showcase it on the news.”

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