How did that happen? But even the player himself is aware that time is marching on. Bryson will join up with the rest of the Scotland squad later today ahead of next Tuesday's final World Cup qualifying match against Croatia. He has been a regular with Derby County since moving south from Kilmarnock in 2011 but international recognition in that time has been scarce. His one and only cap came almost three years ago against the Faroe Islands, so long ago that even he can't recall too much about it. "I remember it being cold," he says.
He barely got a mention during the remainder of Craig Levein's international tenure. He travelled with the squad to the United States at the end of the 2012 season and did not get off the bench as Scotland lost 5-1. That aside, he was conspicuous only by his absence. Giving there were plenty of others operating in the English Championship getting call-ups, Bryson admits it was something of a mystery that he was never selected. So far out the picture was he that he even stopped looking for his name whenever a squad was announced.
"I've been overlooked in the past by a few previous managers when I thought I was playing well at Kilmarnock and down south," he said. "There wasn't much I could do if they wouldn't pick me. When I signed for Derby I thought if I could come down and establish myself as a good Championship player then I would have a chance of getting in. In my first season, I was player of the year at Derby and I never really got a sniff.
"I just needed to get on with it and keep doing what I was doing for Derby County and then hopefully I would be able to push myself back in. I thought I might have had a wee sniff of getting in but it wasn't to be. You would get a wee bit excited before the squad came out but I always ended up being left disappointed when the squad was announced. I did stop looking, if I am being honest."
Bryson's call-ups in the past tended to be as a late replacement for injury drop-outs so being named in Gordon Strachan's original squad is a big thing for him this time around. His selection is more than warranted. He has started the season well for Derby, scoring six goals in his opening 13 games including a hat trick at Millwall. Shaun Maloney's absence because of injury might create a vacancy for Bryson to start against the Croats and, although he does not see himself as a like-for-like swap, there is excitement at the prospect of doubling his cap tally at Hampden.
"This is the first time I have been selected and not called up when others dropped out," he said. "That is a really big positive for me. Even if I am on the bench or in the stand it is good just to be back in the Scotland set-up.
"If you look at the Scotland teams we are probably at our strongest in the middle of the park. We have a lot of midfield options and there are a lot of players who are playing in the Premiership. You have to battle it out with them. Shaun plays behind the strikers and I am more a box-to-box player but you never know. If the manager picks me then I would be happy to play there."
Bryson, though, believes he has developed and grown as a player during his two years in England. "I think I have come on quite a lot. To play in the Championship is a step up from the SPL. "Every game is really hard and you just need to get on with it. I am a lot better player now than I was at Kilmarnock. I have got six goals in 10 league games this season and six assists as well. I am starting to have more influence on the attacking front.
"Maybe before I wouldn't take my chances but I am more confident now. I always thought I could score more goals and this season the aim was to get into double figures. I have always been confident but I have been given more licence to get into the box."
Not even disruption at his club has slowed down his progress. The sacking of Nigel Clough and the appointment of Steve McLaren has meant a new managerial style to get accustomed to, but Bryson is looking forward to working with the former England manager. "He has a great cv. He is a really good manager with good experience and I am looking forward to working with him. Hopefully he can improve me as a player."
* Tickets for Scotland v Croatia are available on 0844 875 1873 or by visiting www.scottishfa.co.uk.