David Clegg Concludes His Series Reviewing the Season Through The Eyes Of Up And Coming First Teamers, With Rising Star, Ryan Lannon
If, at the start of last year, Ryan Lannon had been told that he would feature as frequently and as regularly as he did, I am sure he would have been absolutely delighted, for certainly in the first half of the season, he was an almost ever present, something he is extremely happy about.
“When you are young you just want to get selected, and then try and stay in there as long as you can,” he reflects. “Gaining consistency is the main thing when you are starting out.”
In that respect, therefore, for Ryan, the season has gone really well, for he now appears to be an integral part of the first team structure, as, when he has been selected, he has invariably been retained for the following, and subsequent weeks.
He tells me he has gained this consistency in some games, though in others it has drifted away from him, somewhat.
“It’s no good being on form and up there one week, and then to fall short the following match,” he expounds, “because if you do slip up, as a youngster, you are more likely to be dropped.”
Quite significantly, he played in only one of the pre-season friendlies, and that was the home match against Wigan, in the one game which featured those who were to become the recognised side for much of the season. It was undoubtedly a match which he was to relish.
“Being a Wigan lad I really enjoyed that Wigan game, especially with winning,” he confides.
“You don’t get many victories over Wigan, and I had a few mates who were playing for them, so it was also good to get the win over them.”
Despite this, he had never particularly thought that his being selected for this particular friendly was any indication of his being in line for more regular selection.
“I just took my chance when it came, in the first home game, against St Helens,” he concludes. “It was great, and it was also my first time on Sky, so it was a good experience all round.
“We beat them convincingly, 44-10, and that made it all the better. It definitely was no fluke.”
So well had the team played, and so well had Ryan acquitted himself as part of that team, that he retained his place the following week for the visit of Widnes, in what also proved to be a thrilling and impressive performance, particularly during the first half.
Good again as the team’s overall performance was, Ryan was disappointed that he was unable to reproduce his form of the previous week, and he points to this as exemplification of his need to get greater consistency, week in week out.
“It set the pattern for how much of the season followed,” he reflects.
There were, however, to be many positives from which he can take a great deal of satisfaction. The highlight of the year came with his inclusion in the Magic Weekend fixture, once again against Widnes Vikings.
“Everything about it was special,” he enthuses. “It was my first Magic Weekend, at a special venue, because you don’t get many opportunities to play at St James’s Park. The whole event is a really big occasion, and in front of a big crowd and the television cameras. It was really great to be involved.
“We travelled up on the Friday, and stayed over, ahead of the game on the Saturday, and that was good because with rooming up with another member of the squad you got to know them much better, so it benefitted the whole squad being away together.”
For Ryan, himself, being involved in the whole event made him feel a much more integral member of the first team than at any previous time, whilst winning provided the icing on the cake to top off the whole weekend.
“It was a long journey home but on a happy coach,” he acknowledges.
Pt 2 Will Follow Towards The End Of This Week