After another strong showing for Western United, rookie goalkeeper Ryan Scott has been praised by coach Mark Rudan for seizing his A-League opportunity.
From injury-replacement to A-League mainstay, Western United goalkeeper Ryan Scott has impressed coach Mark Rudan by seizing his opportunity.
The 25-year-old joined Western in November 2019 as an understudy to Polish stopper Filip Kurto.
He debuted in a 5-1 win over Adelaide United last year as a substitute for an injured Kurto but didn't feature again until a round 11 match this year against Western Sydney Wanderers in March, again replacing Kurto when the Pole had to be subbed off in the first half.
Since then, however, the two-time NPL Victoria grand final man of the match, who worked as a bricklayer waiting for his chance as a professional, hasn't looked back.
Wednesday's clash with Brisbane Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium was Scott's 11th straight start for Western, meaning 2018/19 A-League goalkeeper of the year Kurto has had to make do with a bench role.
While Western slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Roar due to Riku Danzaki's 94th-minute strike, it was Scott who was the visitors' best player for most of the match, making a string of crucial saves to deny the Brisbane.
Two stops with his feet to deny Roar striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls with point-blank headers were especially eye-catching.
"He's been unbelievable, sensational," Rudan said. "It's never easy for a so-called number two, to get an opportunity and then elevate and improve the way he has.
"It's what you want. You want competition for places and Ryan's taken his opportunity.
"I keep telling all the players, whether you get one minute or five or 30 or if you start a game, you've got to grab it, and then it's yours to lose basically thereafter."
Western, who slip out of the top six with the loss to the Roar, face another away trip against the Wanderers on Saturday and then have to head to Perth to play Glory next Wednesday.
"There's no excuses with us, we need to embrace this," Rudan said.
"I told them, 'would you rather go back home and train and go through a six or seven day slog or play games?' We want to play games."