Young Guns Player Focus: Ryan Maric (Gippsland Power)

GIPPSLAND Power forward Ryan Maric has played himself into AFL Mid-Season Draft contention, and is perhaps even this year’s leading prospect. The 18-year-old entered his over-age campaign with little fanfare, but shot onto the radar with his Talent League performances to date.

This past weekend, Maric turned out in the first of two Young Guns games, showing more signs of promise despite his side being beaten at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. We put his performance under the Player Focus microscope.

>> Scouting Notes: Young Guns vs. Vic Metro

Tall Forward

Ryan Maric

Height: 193cm

Weight: 84kg

DOB: 06-09-2004

2023 Young Guns Series – Game 1
Young Guns 10.12 (72) def. by Vic Metro 13.14 (92)

Player Focus: #18 Ryan Maric (Young Guns)
2023 averages (3 games): 19.0 disposals (13.7 kicks, 5.3 handballs), 6.7 marks, 2.3 tackles, 4.7 inside 50s, 2.7 goals (8 total)


Maric made a steady start to say the least, with the highly fancied mid-season draft prospect registering a single handball in the opening quarter. It came while running back towards goal as the Young Guns produced a quick transition, with Maric going inside 50 by hand as an opponent snapped at his heels.

For context, there were a bunch of 190cm or taller players rolling through the Young Guns’ forward line – Maric being one of them – making it tough for the showcase side to jell in the early stages. Still, Maric did well to compete aerially with poor delivery of the wet ball, bringing it to ground or being spoiled himself.


The second term yielded two of Maric’s four scores for the game, albeit both behinds. His best chance was a 30-metre set shot after marking uncontested inside 50, which came shortly after the teen unleashed a long bomb on the run from the centre square which very nearly skidded through the big sticks.

He wasn’t as clean as he would have liked to be at ground level and to be fair, many others found it hard to showcase slick skills in the first half. It wasn’t a marker’s, nor a kicker’s day unfortunately and those are two of Maric’s strengths. He ended the half with two kicks (both behinds), two handballs and, one mark.

Ryan Maric laps up a goal for Gippsland | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


Much like in the opening quarter, Maric was kept quiet at the same end of Trevor Barker Oval and registered only one more handball in term three. It was a rather sharp one at that, with the Gippsland Power gun scooping the ball up and dishing off to skipper Jedd Longmire in a flash on defensive wing.

His low numbers were not for a lack of trying, as Maric sought to impose himself on the contest with repeat pressure acts and a couple of nice chases, working right up to half-back. Though there was little reward, he was able to display his speed and knack for covering good ground with a bit of application.


Maric finally found a bit of luck in the fourth quarter and used it to hit the scoreboard. Receiving a handball close to the left-hand boundary inside forward 50, he put boot to ball and watched as his snap somehow evaded two hesitant Vic Metro defenders to trickle through the goals.

He could well have had another major but sent his set shot wide after again working into the attacking arc in acres of space. Much of his running had been unrewarded to that point, so it would have been nice to see the Young Gun convert a rare opportunity.

In general play, he continued to be a touch inconsistent in his handling at ground level but looked lively when able to collect on the move and bustle his way free. He added four touches to bring his total tally to five kicks, four handballs, three marks and 1.3.

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It is easy to see why Maric has been highly touted ahead of the mid-season intake, despite not putting it all together in the first Young Guns game. He has worked hard on his fitness and covers the ground beautifully with long strides, making for a dynamic 193cm option who can mark and score deep, or play high.

What makes him dangerous is his ability to present as an option up the ground, before working the opposition over heading back towards goal. He’s usually a neat field kick but could have done with better conversion on Sunday, missing the chance to bag a haul or three or four goals despite being relatively quiet.

It seems as if the big leagues await for Maric and West Coast may be a suitor having just lost last year’s top mid-season draftee, Jai Culley, to an ACL tear. Maric is the same height and may well make a steep ascent should the Eagles take him, given their injury woes. Sunday presents another opportunity to impress, against Vic Country.

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