Ryan Scott has taken a remarkable path to the A-League, and he is reaping the rewards now.
“My journey has been so different to everyone else but I obviously wouldn’t change that," Scott said.
"I’m happy with the way I went about it, the setbacks I had and the road I had to take to get here."
Scott has signed a two-year contract extension with Western United, affirming himself well and truly as an A-League player.
Starting the season as the understudy, Scott has worked hard for his chance and has overcome a feeling of uncertainty.
“The position I was in at the start of the season – when you’re the number two it’s a bit unclear of where you’re going to end up or what opportunities are going to come your way.”
Hard work isn’t something that is foreign to the 25-year-old, having been made to wait for his A-League chance after an unsuccessful trial with Newcastle Jets.
“I had a few sniffs, I trialled at Newcastle in 2018 but it just wasn’t meant to be at the time. I had accepted that, I hadn’t necessarily given up on the dream.
“It was always a goal of mine, I would’ve liked to have made it earlier but that wasn’t the case for various reasons.”
Scott’s football journey started at the age of five, playing with his father and brother in Coffs Harbour.
Returning to Melbourne at the age of 12, Scott was occupying a rather surprising position on the field throughout his junior career.
“I used to play on the field, up until about 15 I was a striker just running around, scoring goals which was fun.”
After realising that he wouldn’t make it professionally as an outfielder he turned his attention to goalkeeping.
Scott explained that his love for cricket helped him be ready for the transition to 'keeping, a change that came quite naturally to him.
“I was always a wicket-keeper in cricket – I played cricket my whole life. I had that natural hand-eye coordination.”
After going through Berwick, Monbulk, Mornington and Doveton, Scott signed for Bentleigh Greens in 2015, and from there, his career took off.
After an initial season playing second fiddle, Scott went from strength to strength in goal for Greens, contributing to the trophy-laden stint of current Western United assistant coach John Anastasiadis.
Scott praised the impact Anastasiadis had on him and how important he was in helping him settle at the club.
“He certainly helped me settle in. I spent a lot of time with JA at Bentleigh and learned a lot from him.
“He’s a great coach and he’s doing a good job here, so it’s been good to follow in his footsteps a little bit.”
Scott was completing an apprenticeship as a bricklayer at the time, with days as long as 15 hours between working in the morning and training at night.
That never bothered him though, as he saw it as simply what he needed to do to chase down his dreams.
“That didn’t really phase me, that was the level I was at, everyone else was doing it too. It was tough, yeah, but no excuses.”
Ultimately, hard work and persistence has paid off for Scott, now being in the position he had longed to be in.
Scott admits there was some good fortune that came his way, but his work ethic and determination ensured he was ready to capitalise on the opportunity.
“You could say there’s a lot of luck involved in the end, but I put a lot of work in to be playing the way I was all those years to earn the luck to come here.
“I just feel like I am now where I’ve wanted to be for so long. I want to get better and win trophies here and really push on with my career.”
Scott advised young NPL hopefuls to always be in shape and be prepared for when the chance comes and never lose belief.
“Probably some advice that I got that I probably didn’t take, but was very good advice at the time, is you’ve always got to be ready to take that step up.
“You might only get one opportunity, so you’ve got to do everything in your power to make sure you take it.”