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Ryan Lester-Smith Announces Retirement

Friday, December 15, 2023 - 11:40 AM

After 14 seasons, 138 League (136 WAFL and 2 Foxtel Cup) and 45 Reserves games, Ryan Lester-Smith has announced his retirement from the WAFL. The highly skilled utility has been a regular member of the League side, making the wing position his own over the past 5 seasons. Wearing the number 18, worn by his dad Neil for 154 games through the 80s and 90s, Ryan kicked 111 goals, with a season best 43 in the 2013 season. 

Playing initial as a forward, Ryan had a knack for kicking a goal with his long powerful kick becoming a real asset at the Sharks. Over the years he spent time across the half back line before settling into the wing in his later years. When Sandover Medallist, Blaine Boekhorst went down with a season ending knee injury late in the 2022 season, Lester-Smith found himself attending the centre bounces, where his explosive pace and penetrating kick made him a damaging player. Injuries curtailed his final season in 2023, where a pre-season knee injury saw a long delay to the season, returning in Round 10 through the Reserves. He managed to play out the rest of the 2023 season in the Reserves, contributing to their return to finals football.


On looking back at his career, Lester-Smith remembers the first time he pulling on the Blue and White in the junior ranks. “I’ve always supported the Blue and Whites through our family history and I was always around the club as a 13-14 year old, with dad being involved.”

First appearing for the Colts in 2009, Lester-Smith made his League debut in 2012 against eventual premiers Claremont, the team coming from 32 points down at half time to win by 34 points. 

In 2013, playing as a medium forward, Lester-Smith announced himself as a player to watch, kicking 43 goals in 16 games before a knee injury curtailed his season. “I’ve played a lot of positions over the journey, but to me, the forward role is my most natural position and probably my most enjoyable.”

“I’ve pretty much played all positions on the ground, which certainly helped my football over my career as I had a strong understanding of what each position was looking for.”

Senior Coach, Bill Monaghan reflects on his time coaching Ryan. “Ryan has been a great servant to the club over his career. Blessed with speed, his outstanding foot skills and versatility made him a valued and dangerous member of the side. Congratulations Snuff on a great career.”

Everyone at East Fremantle thanks Ryan for his services to the club and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours.