Attacking midfielder Ryan Harley rejoined Exeter City on loan from Swindon Town in November 2014, having previously played a prominent role in the club's successes between 2008 and 2011. In a move that soon became permanent he remained with the club until 2018 bringing his final tally of goals to fifty.
Ryan began his career with his hometown club Bristol City, where he came through their academy system, but only made three first-team appearances during three seasons as a professional at Ashton Gate. After an unsuccessful trial with Torquay United, Ryan signed for Weston-super-Mare in October 2006 returning to full-time football when he joined Exeter City in January 2008.
Ryan made over 120 appearances in all competitions during his initial three-year stay before his move to Swansea in January 2011 and was fully-involved in the double-promotions of 2008 and 2009. He scored 28 times including City’s first in the Conference play-off semi-final comeback against Torquay in 2008, both goals in a 2-0 win against Leeds United at St James Park in 2010 and an 82nd-minute goal against Huddersfield on the final day of 2009/10 to keep City in League One.
On joining Swansea, Ryan was immediately loaned back to Exeter as the Grecains finished 8th in League One in 2010/11. But he was destined never to play for Swansea and joined Brighton & Hove Albion in August 2011. Appearing in fewer than twenty league games for the Sussex club Ryan spent the second half of 2012/13 at MK Dons ahead of agreeing a permanent move to Swindon Town in July 2013. In what was no more a successful period in Ryan's career than his time at Brighton, he initially returned to Exeter on loan in November 2014 soon signing permanently in January 2015.
In his first full season back at St James' Park Ryan scored five goals including a double against Plymouth Argyle in a 2-1 victory at Home Park in November 2015. Then Ryan made another significant contribution during the 2016/17 campaign – despite a hip injury which ruled him out for much of the autumn - bagging seven goals in total including a fine brace against Leyton Orient in January and a goal as City beat Carlisle United in the semi-finals of the League Two play-offs. Ryan was to go on to appear in both of City's losing play-off finals in 2017 and 2018 and - with a goal against Lincoln in 2018 - holds the distinction of scoring for the club in three separate play-off campaigns.
Then, following the Coventry defeat in 2018, he joined former manager Paul Tisdale at Milton Keynes on a free transfer. After being later released by the Dons, Ryan signed for Bath City in October 2020 in a player-coach role before leaving by mutual consent in November 2021. After a brief spell playing with Frome Town, Ryan joined Notts County as assistant head coach in June 2022 and was in post when the club returned to the Football League in May 2023.
League 242 (including 8 play-off); Cups 21 (263)