New recruit Scott set for first pro steps

For new addition Liam Scott, 2017 will be taking a very different direction to the one he initially had planned.

Fresh from impressing with his first tentative steps in the game last summer the North East Rugby League player of the year has secured himself a contract at Kingston Park Stadium and the opportunity to establish himself as part of the future local core of the club’s squad.

It has seen the 22-year-old swap a path towards the battlefield and a career in the Royal Marines in the immediate future, to one pursuing a childhood ambition as a professional rugby player and it is one that Scott can’t wait to embark on.

“I was pushed to try a lot of different sports when I was younger, things like golf, ice hockey, which was a good thing and kept me motivated, but it was rugby that stole the show.

“I started out playing union at Morpeth where my Granddad lived. I used to go around his a lot and started playing when I was about 7.”

After starting out up in Northumberland, senior rugby saw Scott playing at Percy Park and it was here that pester power drew the prop across codes.

“I moved to Percy Park and some of the lads there were egging me on to go down to Wallsend Eagles and give it a go and see what it was all about.

“I was pretty busy with work and things which stopped me from getting along, but I eventually caved in after meeting Kai Downey whilst playing at a 7s event. I went down and fell in love. I’ve played about 10 or 11 games and loved every minute of it.”

Having collected the headline accolade at last year’s awards after such a short space of time, it proved to be a straightforward conversion for Scott from the fifteen man game to thirteen, but what proved to be the biggest area for adjustment?

“Getting back the ten yards, in Union, you can obviously ruck over and go over the top and that was a big thing, remembering to get back and not diving in all the time! There were other things like different tackle techniques and ball handling, but that was the main thing.”

Stepping up further this year, Scott has had a full pre-season to get to grips with the demands of Kingstone Press League 1 and while noticing the difference between the Eagles and Thunder, Scott is satisfied with his progress so far.

“It’s been a big step up; technicality particularly is a big difference that I have noticed, along with the skill level. Mick, Heapy and Jason have been giving me pointers all through, which are keeping me on track and in the right direction and it’s down to me to get those down to a tee.

“I’m gradually getting there, I know it is going to take a little while to be where I need to be from where I was playing last year, but I’m building every session and eventually the jigsaw puzzle will be put together and hopefully I’ll be a good finished project.

Explaining where specifically there is still work to be done, Scott explains, “I’ve got all the calls are down, it’s just positions, as soon as I get my positioning, I should do well but I am really enjoying it so far.”

With the first competitive action of the new season now just over three weeks in the League 1 Cup and with a stated target of making the end of season playoffs, it promises to be an exciting year for all involved, with Scott believing that he and his teammates are set well.

“I think we are looking fairly strong, we just need to finalise that bond and once we get that we’ll be flying.”