Junior Clubs: Strathmore
Recruited from: Calder (VIC) U18
Brownlow Votes: 77
One of the AFL’s genuine iron men, O’Keefe played all 25 matches in 2013 to move to 282 career games.
If he continues his stretch of featuring in at least 22 games in each of the past 10 seasons, he will become just the fourth man in club history to pass 300 games in 2014.
Used to shut down some of the competition’s most dangerous midfielders, O’Keefe also managed 23 touches, almost seven tackles and four marks a game.
His performances during the season included 28 disposals and 15 tackles against Adelaide and 30 possessions, seven tackles and a goal in the semi-final victory over Carlton.
Draft history: 1999 National AFL Draft 4th round selection (Sydney) No. 56 overall.
His 2013 season was a really solid year. Ryan did a lot of jobs for us on field and was just a consistent performer. He played big minutes and played a role for us and generally when he ticks his role off, we get a win.
His pre-season has been okay. He’s had a couple of little niggles but given he’s probably into his 15th pre-season; it’s not an issue at all. We’re looking for him not to be the best trainer in November/December, but to be right to go in round one and to really finish the year strongly.
We hope in 2014 that he can maintain his consistency and be a leader on and off the field. We want him to really play the team game for us because the players look to that when we’ve got our key players, and in Ryan’s case, our second most experienced player, setting the tone.