Ryan Scott spent his childhood watching the Jets play preseason friendly matches in Coffs Harbour dreaming of one day making it to the big leagues.
In September of this year, Scott got the opportunity to return to his hometown and play for the Newcastle Jets against Brisbane Roar at C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
The goalkeeper spent a large part of his upbringing in Coffs Harbour, kickstarting his football career with the Orara Valley Dingoes.
“We made the move up as a family when I was four and spent eight years there. I was there until I finished primary school,” Scott said.
“I loved it up there, it’s a great place to grow up with a pretty small community.
“I started playing up there and played for the Orara Valley Dingoes which was my club starting in under-6s until under-12s.”
The 27-year-old then lived in Melbourne, signing with Western United in 2019 before making the move up to the Hunter to play for the Jets in the 2023/24 season.
“I’ve enjoyed making the move, it’s a lot different from Melbourne obviously, that’s been my biggest highlight. Just trying to embrace the Newcastle lifestyle,” Scott said.
“It’s been a long preseason but the season is here now and all guns are blazing.”
Scott travelled with the Jets' squad to Coffs Habour for a preseason friendly match and also got to visit his primary school Karangi Primary School.
“I used to go and watch the Jets preseason games at Coffs when I was little so it was a bit surreal to be here now and playing for this club,” Scott said.
“It was a good turnout and had some family friends who came down to watch. It was good to catch up with some familiar faces. One of my old coaches from Orara was there. It was nice to go back. I hadn’t been back in a few years so it was good to see some familiar sights and faces.
“I was lucky enough to go up there in preseason and I got to go to my old primary school which was a very big highlight probably of my life to be honest. It was quite emotional going back. It was good to remember your roots and where you come from.”
Scott is grateful for the support the Coffs Harbour community have shown since joining the Jets and is thankful for the impact his childhood up there had on his football career.
“100% it’s always good to have the support. The Dingoes were a big part of my journey even though I was very young. It was where I started and where I fell in love with the game. It’s important to remember your journey and where you come from and the people who have helped you along the way because everyone plays a part in your development,” Scott said.
The goalkeeper looks forward to returning home to play his first A-league competition home game against the Western Sydney Wanderers in this Sunday's double-header.
“It will be great to come home and have our first home game, hopefully, we can get a good turnout. We have a double-header with the girls playing as well, so hopefully the town gets behind us and gets out to support us in what will be a big game against Western Sydney,” Scott said.
The Newcastle Jets A-League Men and A-League Women teams will take on Western Sydney Wanderers in a double-header on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium. The men kick off at 3pm followed by the women at 5:45pm.
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