Meet the Aussie who's become a lucky charm at Palace


When you tally up the Australians who've graced Crystal Palace down the years, names like Mile Jedinak, Tony Popovic, Craig Moore and Craig Foster spring forth. But there's one who's outlasted them all.

Step forward walking good-luck charm Scott Guyett - the Brisbane-raised former journeyman defender whose decade in charge of sports science at the south London club has coincided with their longest unbroken run in the Premier League, plus an FA Cup final appearance in 2016.

Guyett has worked alongside the likes of Sam Allardyce, Neil Warnock, Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis, Frank De Boer, Ian Holloway and now Roy Hodgson.

Yet few beyond the Selhurst Park inner sanctum are familiar with his story.

It’s a tale he wants to complete one day back in Australia, where - armed with knowledge accumulated - he has ambitions to become a head coach in his own right.

“I’ve always set my sights on coaching at some point and did my sports science degree alongside that long-term ambition,” Guyett told The World Game.

“I want to get there one day while also appreciating the privileged position I’ve got at Palace.

“I don’t know when it’ll happen but I hope it won’t be in the too distant future, perhaps back in Australia.

“My wife is Australian and I’d like my daughter to have the chance to grow up in the sunny climate of Australia.

“Obviously, finding a position there is a challenge because Australian football has been in a difficult place, although I think it’s finding its way out of that now.

“Once things are sorted out, there may be a few more opportunities.”

After 15 years as a player In England’s lower divisions, Guyett, now 44, landed the role of fitness and conditioning chief with the Eagles, who back then were mired in financial strife in the Championship and unlikely to win promotion any time soon.

In 2013, with Jedinak as their talisman, they were back in the top flight, and Guyett has remained in situ to become part of the Eagles’ fabric.

Berkshire-born Guyett featured for Brisbane City as a teenager before embarking on a professional career in England which took him to Southport, Oxford United, Chester City and Yeovil, before it all ended aged 35 under Eddie Howe at Bournemouth.

One of his biggest influences and inspirations is ex-England boss Hodgson.

“I’ve learned so much from him in his three years at the club,” he said. “He’s a very calming influence - steady and level-headed.

“When he arrived we were on a terrible run, bottom of the table and without a win in seven games.

“But there was never any panic and he stabilised the club and has turned us into a really good Premier League team now. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside him and (assistant) Ray Lewington,” he said.

“You have to find a way to win games at this level - it’s hard, particularly for a club like us.

“Roy’s managed that over the years. We play to our strengths and it suits us.”

Guyett had Tim Cahill, forging his own coaching path at Everton, for company when they recently joined a course in Wales to study for their UEFA Pro License.

“I’ve worked under coaches with a combined 7,000 games under their belt,” he continued.

“You get to see how they lead the team and manage the club in general.

“You have to inspire financially independent players to come in and give everything every day and that can be difficult.

“I’m working with international players and it’s an honour you don’t take lightly.

“If I do come back to Australia, it would have to be for the right reasons and the right position.”

Guyett’s friendship with Jedinak - now part of the coaching staff at Aston Villa’s Academy - endures.

“Mile is held in huge regard here at the club, and people still often talk about him,” Guyett said.

“He was a catalyst for a period when we got into the Premier League and then maintained our status there.

“He brought great leadership, and to come from Australia and skipper an EPL team is a huge achievement.

“We still speak and I look back very fondly, as do the fans and staff, at his time here.

“I think he’ll become a really good coach because he has that natural aura about him.”

Guyett has his own aura at Palace’s Beckenham-based training base after initially arriving at short notice and with no guarantees.

“I came to oversee things until the end of the season and during that time our fortunes turned a bit under Dougie Freedman, and the club pretty much went from strength to strength,” he explained. 

“It’s been an incredible journey from when I first joined, when the club really had nothing.

“I’d had no real hands-on experience as a fitness coach and I’ve had to develop myself along the way.”