- Tuesday, 26 February 2013
For two long years Ryan Herring would pack his footy bag and make the arduous hour long commute to Mandurah for footy training three times a week.
The tiresome 70km solo drive was made worse by the fact that the goal kicker resided in the heart of Leederville, just a drop punt away from his new home Medibank Stadium.
"I lived 400 metres away from the oval so I drove passed every night on my way down to training, I thought this is a bit silly when I could be playing for a good club just around the corner, but I was contracted for two years so I had to tough it out."
Originally from Victoria, the 26-year-old is a product of the North Ballarat under 18's.
A move from his home state to South Australia saw him lining up for the Sturt Football Club where he became an integral part of the Double Blue's forward line.
Under the guidance of senior coach and former Hawthorn assistant Rick Macgowan, Herring took the SANFL by storm in 2009 taking more marks than anyone and finishing in the top ten for goals kicked, before deciding to try his luck and ply his trade in the West.
"I was good mates with Matt Rosa and (Peel) was his aligned club at West Coast so I said I was half keen to come to Perth and they got on to me and for some reason I went there.
In two seasons in which Thunder won only 10 games, Herring booted 40 goals from 26 senior appearances with an impressive 75% accuracy.
Veteran Subiaco defender Darren Rumble can attest to Herring's ability in front of goal, the man they call 'Fish' slotted 7 majors against the stunned fullback in round 10, 2011.
Herring says after much consideration he decided to part ways with Peel Thunder at the end of last season.
"When Schoey (Jarrad Schofield) gave me a call I was definitely very keen to take him up on the offer."
"To play for a successful club which has historically always been around the mark… I didn't think I was going to get to play finals down at Peel and just needed a change and from the outside it (Subiaco) just looked like a good club to be involved with."
As the newest member of the Lions forward line, Herring wasted little time hitting the score board, kicking the first goal in his new team's first pre-season match against East Perth on Saturday night.
Herring says the change of clubs has been like a breath of fresh air, "Just the endeavour to have a winning culture and real team environment, blokes are here for the right reasons."