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State game win would mean world to Royal ScottSaturday, May 18, 2024 - 10:55 AM - by Chris Pike

ANGUS Scott has made his home on the wing for East Perth, is well settled in Western Australia and now hopes for nothing more than to take part in his first WAFL State game win this Sunday against the SANFL.

You would be hard pressed to find a more consistent WAFL player over five and-a-half seasons now than Scott over his 85-game career since arriving at East Perth and settling on the wing in 2019 coming from Casey Demons in the VFL.

Scott has been remarkably consistent with his running power and ball winning ability on the wing for the Royals a standout as he's averaged 26.3 disposals a game.

He has three times been named to the WAFL Team of the Year and in 2023, made his debut playing in the WAFL State team in loss at Adelaide Oval against the SANFL.

Scott has now been selected again in the final team to represent the WAFL against the SANFL at Optus Stadium this Sunday afternoon.

Excitement building for State game

Now that the preparations are all done and there's nothing for Scott to do except get ready to head to Optus Stadium on Sunday morning, he can't help but feel the excitement building.

"It's always exciting and an honour to be picked to represent your state and the WAFL competition, and to be able to play with so many guys you usually play against," Scott said.

"It's definitely not something you get to do every day and would never take it for granted. I think excitement is the overriding feeling right now and I'm just keen to get out there and hopefully get a win against them."

Focus on getting that win

As good as the experience was last year for Scott to represent the WAFL for the first time, he imagines playing in a win will make the whole thing mean that much more and he hopes that eventuates this Sunday.

"The mindset we've all been having and it starts with Cam Shepherd, and he's been really big on the importance of us getting that win together," Scott said.

"We've been close the last couple of years and they might have won the last four, but as much of an honour as it was last year to play and it was a great experience, a win would make it that bit extra special.

"To be able to share that with your teammates from your own club and moving forward and with the guys who are from other clubs, you will always have that special bond.

"That's something that we are going out to really strive to do and we're putting the best plan in place we can to go out and play WA footy to show what we can do individually but also collectively as a team."

Getting to play at Optus Stadium

Scott has played a WAFL game at 10 different venues and also played the State game at Adelaide Oval last year, but he's yet to play at Optus Stadium.

He does hope to get the chance later this year in the grand final, but his first chance to play at the world renowned venue will be this Sunday and he couldn’t be happier that's where the State game is.

"It definitely adds to the excitement for the game for it to be played at a ground that we don't usually play at unless it's a grand final," he said.

"It adds that little bit of extra feeling to the game and it kind of magnifies the game and what a great opportunity it is to put state league level on show before the AFL game as well."

Getting to know new teammates

The other bonus of being part of the WAFL State squad is the chance to get to know some players who are usually rivals. For Scott along with housemates Hamish Brayshaw and Angus Schumacher, they've discovered they have a neighbour they never knew.

Nik Rokahr has joined Swan Districts this year and been a revelation in the midfield to be a lock in the WAFL State team on Sunday, and he and his partner bought a house together when moving to WA at the start of 2024.

What none of them knew, was that Rokahr was a neighbour to his trio of East Perth rivals who were all in the State squad alongside him, and for Scott it's yet another unexpected bonus.

"I've actually got a bit of a funny one, Nik Rokahr from Swan Districts actually lives next door to myself, Hamish Brayshaw and Angus Schumacher," Scott said.

"We didn’t realise that until he asked us at one of the training whether we lived next door to him, and that's when we realised our houses actually back onto each other.

"So he's number 80 and we are 88, and that just shows what a small world it is. We'll probably even go to the game together now so that's pretty awesome and something extra we've discovered over these last couple of weeks."

Chance to play in position

The WAFL State team is selected full of players who will be able to play similar roles and positions to what they do at their clubs on a weekly basis, and Scott feels that will give everyone out there confidence in their teammates.

For someone like Scott, he has made the wing his own at East Perth and will be more than happy to stay there for the WAFL on Sunday, but he's also versatile enough to play other roles if called upon to.

"It fills you with confidence as well going out there when everyone has a role to play and it's similar to the one they play at their club, and it's what they bring week to week and you know what they are capable of," he said.

"I think it will be good personally to get to play on the wing because it's somewhere that I feel comfortable, but i also have that adaptability to kind of play anywhere.

"I did play a bit up forward in my VFL days so being able to have people play in positions they are used to gives you that bit of extra trust, but we have a lot of versatility at the same time as we get used to playing with each other."

Reward for effort

The great thing about the way the WAFL State team is selected is that it is full of terrific stories of players being rewarded for their consistency, their hard work and their dedication to playing in the competition.

Scott is just one example of that who has been tremendously consistent ever since he first pulled on an East Perth jumper in 2019 to have got his first taste of State football in 2023, and now to get another chance in 2024.

He couldn’t be prouder to get a second opportunity to represent the WAFL but is just as excited for teammate Stan Wright to get his first chance.

"I think kinda just caps off a lot of the effort you've put in and adds reward to so much effort that you do put in," Scott said.

"I guess from an individual perspective and looking at my first few years at East Perth, we weren’t seeing those rewards as a team on the field and it can be a bit difficult sometimes to keep fronting up and keeping on doing that extra work.

"But it's great at the moment that we're starting to find that form at East Perth to try and push towards a premiership, but it also shows if the team is going well you get that individual recognition as well.

"It kind of makes all that hard work that you've put in not only the last few years since being here, but throughout your whole career worthwhile. It's such a great achievement to be able to play in these games, it makes it all worth it and that's the sort of feeling I get from it definitely."

Reaching the pinnacle

Getting to play State football as one of the top players in the WAFL, with the game being played at Optus Stadium and for a host of reasons mean that for a player like Scott, it's the pinnacle of a career.

That's why it means so much to earn the chance to take part in the game and why it's such a great source of pride for every player selected.

"I think from a point of view of the pinnacle of footy, it will be the highest level that we get to play for those of us that don’t get to play AFL," Scott said.

"So at this stage, it's definitely a highlight of my career and something that I hold pretty special and hopefully we can also get to a grand final with East Perth this year as well, and win that.

"I suppose that would always be No. 1 but to play state football is definitely a highlight for me so far, especially if we are able to win this game on Sunday."

What's been building at East Perth

Scott has a great perspective of what has been building at East Perth as well since becoming a standalone club once again back in 2019.

It was always going to be a slow build back up to being a finals force and premiership contender, but the way East Perth has done it has been true to plan by slowly building up their depth based around local players and topped up with some carefully selected recruits.

There were no quick fixes, but things have been going to script with East Perth back to finals last year and now having a tremendous start to 2024 to be right in the premiership mix having won five of six games.

Scott has enjoyed being part of the build with the Royals and has no doubt that would make any success they enjoy mean that little bit more.

"It's very rewarding seeing where we've come from and I was lucky enough in Victoria to play in some grand finals and for some good teams at Casey when I was young," he said.

"That was awesome but you don’t fully appreciate it when you're younger, but now coming through and seeing someone like Stan Wright getting an opportunity after 96 WAFL games to play in a State game is awesome.

"I think it's the relationships you build and culture we have at East Perth, and for the most part the group has been through on this journey together and played a lot of games with each other now.

"We're a really close group and that makes it that extra bit special and hopefully we can make the most of it and go through all the way this year and win it. With how tight our group is I think it would be the highlight of all our footy careers."

Finding a new home in WA

Not only is Scott settled in WA in a football sense, but he couldn’t be happier with the lifestyle he's getting to enjoy and with how things are going workwise having been with WesTrac Cat since moving west.

Really, he can't think of anywhere he'd rather be setting his life up.

"When you walk outside and look at this weather and I see friends back home complaining about it being six degrees and it's hard to imagine a better place to live," Scott said.

"Perth is somewhere I'm very settled now and I have a great group of friends, and support network from everyone to East Perth and work is great here.

"I think that's the biggest thing, I can't thank the footy club, my mates and my work with how welcoming everyone has been to make it easy to settle in here. Even my friends and family when they come over, they feel like they are part of what I do here so it couldn’t be better."