From Ireland to island- Footy in Fiji

12 November 2019

Footy in Fiji

Dean Ryan (far left) at the AFI Harmony Cup in Melbourne

Dean Ryan has been involved in the AFI Harmony Cup in Melbourne since 2014, both as a player and coach. He was a member of the championship winning teams for Team Ireland in 2016 and 2018. Dean recently moved to Fiji for a 12 month stint to help grow Aussie Rules Football in Fiji. We spoke to him about his footy journey.

“I am from Newbridge in county Kildare in Ireland where I played Gaelic football and hurling for Moorefield GAA club.

“I moved to Australia in 2010 and began playing footy in South Australia for Angaston in the Barossa Valley. I then moved to Ballarat where I played for Learmonth and most recently the North Ballarat football club.

“In coaching I have been involved in numerous junior development academies and interleague sides as well as the GWV Rebels in the NAB league in a strength & conditioning role.

“In Fiji my role is to aid in coaching and development of the game nation-wide. Currently I am working with the Fiji Tribe u15s ahead of the Oceania Cup in December 2019. Training for the senior men and women for the 2020 International Cup will commence soon, so I will be working with the Fijian coaches to prepare the players for that competition. I aim to pass on my knowledge to the coaches here so they can continue to grow and develop the game after I leave in 12 months.”