How a bricklayer who became an A-Leagues champion nailed his ‘full circle moment’ 6 years later

Ryan Scott has not missed a game in his first season with Newcastle Jets but the popular goalkeeper has worked hard to get to this position as he explains to ahead of this weekend’s high stakes F3 Derby.

Ryan Scott thought his chance of playing in the A-Leagues had passed him by.

Aged 23 at the time, Scott had saved two penalties in an NPLM VIC Grand Final triumph for Bentleigh Greens in 2019 and been at the centre of the club’s memorable run to the Australia Cup semi-finals a year earlier.

But he had almost resigned himself to the fact that he would never play in the Isuzu UTE A-League, instead juggling life as a bricklayer by day and NPL footballer by night.


“I thought my ship had sailed if I’m honest,” Scott told

“At Bentleigh, we achieved a lot of success as a team and I had some really strong performances in some big games. I felt if that wasn’t enough to get a chance, then it probably wasn’t meant to be. I had accepted that.

“I was doing my bricklaying apprenticeship. I had a year to go on that. After the 2019 NPL Grand Final, I went on a Europe trip with a couple of my schoolmates. I wasn’t bitter or anything, I just thought maybe that’s as far as I was going to get.

“It’s almost like you try that hard and it doesn’t come, then you stop caring and you get your opportunity.

“I was pretty fortunate to get the chance through an injury. It is what it is. You roll with the punches and get thrown a little carrot, and (I) haven’t looked back.”

He added: “I feel like a lot of players haven’t had (that life experience). If you go through the academy or youth team, you fall straight into full-time football. I’ve had other jobs.

“I’ve been a labourer and a bricklayer for a couple of years. There’s probably not many tougher than being a bricklayer. I got a strong work ethic from that.

“I feel like it’s important that a lot of the young players should experience that in some way. Sometimes, people don’t realise how good we have it playing football every day. It spurs me on to play the game as long as I can.

“It’s been frustrating at times but worked for me… do it the hard way because it’s the only way I’ve ever known. Bit of an underdog tag.”


That sums up Scott’s football story and journey to Newcastle Jets this season.

Even after an injury to James Delianov presented him with an initial short-term opportunity at Western United five years ago, nothing has been easy for the 27-year-old.

While he was the club’s number one in 2020-21 – making 19 appearances – Scott would then be limited to just 44 minutes of A-Leagues action across the next two campaigns.

In his words, it could have been a “make or break season” but in his first campaign with the Jets, he has not missed a game.

“It’s part of the position,” Scott said. “Most goalkeepers, especially early in their career, will have to bide their time a bit. It’s just staying patient and being ready to take your chance when it comes.

“I had to wait two years between games for me but in saying that, my first season at Western United I came off the bench one day because of a concussion. You just never know when your chance is going to come.

“It’s up to you to stay interested and ready. When you do get that chance, it’s a bit of a sink or swim moment.”

As Scott said, he had to to wait two years between games before finally returning between the sticks in Newcastle.

It did, however, give him the chance to contribute in other ways. It kept him motivated.


“It is tough. For me, I played at Bentleigh for five years before that, so I had a few games under my belt in the NPL which helped me,” he reflected. “When I was in that position, I tried to get around the lads and try to be part of the team.

“I found I could contribute in other ways which made me feel my worth in the team. I made some good friendships, so I was still buzzing going in every day and being with the boys.

“I was frustrated I wasn’t played but in saying that I was part of a Championship-winning team at Western United. Grateful to be part of that and fortunate the boys got the job done and I got to enjoy the celebrations like I’d played.

“It’s just staying mentally switched on. It’s tough but life is tough. There’s more worries going on in the world. If you want to do it long term, you have to hang in there and wait for your chance.”

Whether it is Bentleigh, Western United or Newcastle, Scott is a hugely popular figure in the dressing room.

“I do take a lot of pride in that,” he said. “I want to be known as a good bloke but in the industry we’re in, I want to be known as a good goalkeeper too.

“So at the start, I was sort of stuck in between – oh he’s just a good bloke and one of the lads. I had to be patient and wait for my chance until I could prove myself to be a goalkeeper, which funnily enough that’s what I was there to be.

“I love playing in team sports. (I) grew up playing football and cricket. There’s not many jobs that you get to hang out with your mates everyday. The more positive energy that’s coming from the boys who aren’t playing, the better it is for the group.

“It’s easy to feel hard done by or mope around, or you can accept it for what it is. Keep working hard and support the boys who are playing. That’s what I’ve always done and what I’ll always do when I’m in that position.

“I’ve had great support from Michael Weier this season, who is in that position now. He’s supported me and I’ve felt that support which has helped me. If you put that energy out when you’re in that position, for me it’s come back to me this season.”


Playing in Newcastle is a “full-circle moment” for Scott.

Before landing at Western United, he actually trialled with the Jets in 2018.

“My pathway was a lot different than most others. I was in the NPL for five years. I was 23 when I signed at Western United. But I’m certain my time at Bentleigh shaped me as a goalkeeper and gave me a real good base to come and play at this level.

“It’s a bit of a full-circle moment ending up back at Newcastle. I was grateful that they gave me a chance to even trial in 2018 because I didn’t really feel like I’d get anywhere. Limited opportunities and because I wasn’t in the system, it was harder for me to turn heads.

“I was fortunate to get a shot at Western. There was an injury. These things happen. More than happy to be at Newcastle now.”

Moving to Newcastle has given Scott the chance to work with highly rated first-year head coach in Rob Stanton, who arrived from Sydney FC.

It has been a season of learning for the youthful Jets, who are undefeated in their last four matches (W2 D2); the last time they recorded a longer unbeaten run in the competition was a six-match span from January to February in 2023 (W3 D3).

“Robbie has been good. He’s had a big job on his hands,” Scott said. “Taking over and his first year he’s really grown as a coach. We have a young group.

“We’ve lacked a bit of experience during the season. We’ve thrown games away but I feel like we’ve turned a corner this last month, got some really good results and we seem to be working things out on the pitch, as opposed to dropping points and going home thinking where did we go wrong?

“We’re probably in the best form we’ve been in all season which is a little bit disappointing that it didn’t come earlier so we could’ve had a chance at finals.”


After everything Scott has been through, he feels like he genuinely belongs at this level – and the path he’s walked to arrive here makes it a whole lot more satisfying.

“I played most of the season in 2020-21 and I thought I’d proved enough of myself that I was good enough to play at this level. When I did find myself back on the bench, I felt I’d done enough to play,” Scott reflected.

“It wasn’t to be which, again, everything happens for a reason. Ended up winning a Championship that season so can’t really complain.

“I never really lost belief in myself. There’s not many spots – 12 spots in the league. So when you crunch the numbers there’s not many positions available, so you need to wait and take that chance when it comes.

“Now I’ve proved to myself this season that I’m more than capable to play at this level. There’s no looking back now. I just want to keep playing as long as I can and prolong my career.

“I want to have that team success as well because I’ve tasted that at Bentleigh and Western United.”