Striker Scott signed for Watford from non-league Northwood in early 2003. He made his debut later that season and scored in his first full game against Sheffield United. He went on to finish top scorer the following season. After falling out of favour the following season, he joined Brentford.
Now working away from football, Scott spoke to Watford Legends in 2010.
Hi Scott. Thanks for talking to Watford Legends. You came from Northwood Town (You only cost a pound). How did the move come about?
It was quite fortunate really as I was having trials with Chelsea at the time and was playing a reserve game when Watford were watching. I had a very good game as well. And that was how the move to Watford started. I went for a week’s trial at Watford and signed with Ray on the Thursday.
I had a very good week training with Watford and it was amazing to achieve my goal of becoming a professional.
What was the day job before you got a pro contract?
I was working on Hayes Business Park with Fujistu. I was a Sales Administrator so I was involved in the processing of all the orders and arranging all the deliveries and so on.
It was quite a good job and I enjoyed it. The company was very good about me leaving to become a professional. So it was a question of doing a full week’s notice and then starting the new job.
You had to work the notice then?!
Yeah had to do it properly, but as soon as that was done I was off for a totally life changing experience, which was unbelievable.
With you taking the more unconventional route in to football, did it make you appreciate it more?
Yeah, maybe, in some respects I suppose. But I would say that there are a lot of footballers out there who don’t earn the millions of pounds, who always worry where the next deal will come from and have mortgages and bills to pay. And that is the majority of footballers, and those players do appreciate that they’ve got a great way to earn their wages – playing football.
I can only speak from my perspective and I can say that it did make me appreciate where I was coming from. So I appreciated the chance.
How did you settle in to the life of a pro? From the 9 – 5 to the 10 – 1?
It was really nice way to work! Things like having a breakfast laid on and spending time working on athleticism was something I really got in to. My fitness was assessed early on and coming from the non-league I was a bit under where the pros were, so I had to do a lot of running work at first, probably more than the technique stuff. It was amazing to be doing that each day.
Were there many players that you got on particularly well with or go out with?
I didn’t really go out much but I got on well with Dom Blizzard, Lee Cook and Jamie Hand. The older pros that were there at the time were good blokes as well. It was a nice environment.
What do you remember of your full debut?
I can’t remember lot of the game to be honest but I do remember being very nervous, and having a lot of friends and family there. I’d already made a few sub appearances so I had a bit of a taste for it. The players were very much there for me in the match against Sheffield United and the adrenalin was really pumping. And to get a goal in the game made it the perfect debut in front of a crowd who wanted me to do well.
You mentioned the fans there, it think it’s fair to say that they took well to you.
I think the fans appreciate a player who doesn’t want to give up. I think fans underestimate how much energy it gives you to have the crowd chanting your name and singing songs and so on.
Are there any other games that you remember fondly?
I remember coming on as a sub at Stamford Bridge and I like to remember that because it was a nice point to have reached in my football career. It was a heavy defeat for Watford but a great personal experience for me.
I remember we had a bit of a dog fight at the bottom of the division and we had a big game against Derby which was a great game to be involved in.
Who was your favourite strike partner?
Blimey that’s put me on the spot. I’d probably say H. He’s so strong and has a great work rate. And I enjoyed it when we went 4-3-3 and Danny Webber was up there as well.
How did you get on with Ray Lewington? It seems that nobody ever has a bad word to say about him.
Yeah Ray is a great guy. Him and Terry were really good coaches and really worked well together. Coming from the semi pro scene and the semi pro side of coaching, Ray taught me a lot about the game and I’d say that I owe Ray a lot as he did me a lot of good for my career.
You went out on loan a bit and then eventually to Brentford. Did you feel that you never really settled after leaving Watford?
In hindsight I should never have left Watford, but having played most of the season and having been top scorer, I had a taste for it and wanted to continue with playing regularly and getting goals.
But just training and playing reserve football was not enough for me. Sometimes reserve games could be as much as three weeks apart so you end up where you are just not playing.
I went to Brentford as they were flying high in League One at the time. I was highly thought of by Martin Allen but the next season he didn’t fancy me. Also Brentford had no reserve side so to get games under my belt I had to go out on loan. I’d get interest from other places but it never fell for me. It was a shame that it all came to an abrupt end and as I say, I maybe shouldn’t have left Watford.
So what are you up to now?
I’m in a different industry now. I was with Hayes as a part-timer and had a really good couple of years there. But now they are going to a more full time basis where they train in the day and so on. And I can’t commit to that with the day job I have. Also, at that level of football there’s not enough in the wages to cover the bills, so I’ve made the choice to stick with the day job rather than pursue being a full time footballer.
I’ve just signed for Wealdstone and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in this season.
What’s the day job?
I’m a heating engineer for a company in Ruislip Manor. I’ve been working for them since leaving Brentford. It’s hard work but I enjoy it.
Was it hard to go back to full time work?!
I must admit it was. It’s a very nice life as a full time footballer. But I’m back in the swing of it now, at work by 8 o’clock on site and having banter with the Watford fans!
Well we hope they keep reminding you that you have played for the greatest club in the world!
They usually do! Cheers lads.
Quick Fire Round
|Favourite Ground (apart from the Vic)|
|Best Ever Player|
|Team you supported as a boy|
|Favourite Holiday Destination|
|Favourite TV Show|
|The Shawshank Redemption|
|Desert Island Woman|
|My wife is going to read this, so, The Queen!|