2004 Premiership player Andrew Ryan chats about his transition from the bush to the city and his love for the Bulldogs.
Made a name for himself when he was forced to captain the Bulldogs to Grand Final glory in 2004 after regular skipper Steve Price was ruled out due to injury.
Ryan was a very enthusiastic and busy forward who liked to heavily involve himself around the ruck and in defence. He backed up superbly and on many occasions found himself crossing the line for a four pointer.
Andrew played 73 games for Parramatta as a lock forward. He played in the Grand Final against Newcastle in 2001 and played for NSW in 2001.
In 2003, Andrew joined the Bulldogs to become a regular member of the NRL team. He played ten games for NSW from 2001 to 2007 and played 11 Tests for Australia from 2004 to 2007.
In 2003, Andrew also played in the Preliminary Final against the Roosters in the second row.
In 2004, Andrew broke Bob McCarthy's 1976 record for the most tries in a season by a forward in first grade, scoring 13 tries. He was named captain of the team for the 2004 Grand Final where he was apart of the Premiership winning team against the Roosters.
Ryan continued his captaincy in 2005 and 2006, and in 2007 he played 24 games and lead from the front in defence. The 29-year-old was the Bulldogs top tackler for the season with a total of 733. He was also equal third with Willie Tonga in the hitup count with 265, making 13 line breaks on top of that.
His representative career continued to flourish alongside his career at Club level, featuring in three Tri-Nations series for the Kangaroos from 2004 to 2006 as well as the 2007 Anzac Test against New Zealand, taking his overall tally of Test caps to 11. He has also played 12 matches for NSW, playing in every State of Origin series between 2004 and 2007, and six matches for NSW Country.
He has been captain of the Bulldogs since the 2004 Grand Final, and was named the Dally M Captain of the Year in 2009. He added the Ken Stephen Medal to his list of achievements in 2010.
Season 2011 was Ryan's last and although the Bulldogs failed to reach the finals, they did finish the year on a high, winning five of their last seven matches. His final appearance saw the Bulldogs produce a 36-22 victory over Canberra, with Ryan scoring a try and kicking his first and last goal of his career.