A QUICK turnaround back into the swing of NAB League Girls football has been ideal for Paige Scott. The GWV Rebels goal machine says she has been “itching” to return after a stellar bottom-age campaign, in which she topped the Under 19 National Championships goalkicking charts, and won a final off her own boot for the Rebels.
“I actually like the quick turnaround,” Scott said. “I was itching to get back on the field and that means more games, so I’m pretty happy about that. I wasn’t expecting the (representative) games to be so soon but yeah, I like it.”
After her feats in 2021, the 17-year-old’s eagerness to play comes as no surprise. Opposition defenders may be feeling otherwise. Scott booted 15 goals in nine NAB League outings last year, including all four in the Rebels’ remarkable elimination finals upset over Tasmania. She hit even greater heights at representative level, turning it on for seven goals in three games against the best of the best.
While she earned All-Australian honours as a forward, Scott has not always plied her trade inside attacking 50. A motorbike accident had her coaches improvising come squad selection last year, and she quickly adapted to her new home. There were midfield stints in between the game-winning glory, and Scott may soon end up back there.
“It was a bit of a change, I was always a midfielder,” Scott said. “I got into an accident on my motorbike so (the coaches) put me forward and I ended up kicking three goals that game, so they said ‘oh, we’ll keep you there from now on.’
“I think my coach has got some plans for me to go back in the midfield but hopefully I’m still in the forwardline. “I want to get more accuracy going and bring other girls into the game and get them some goals, because it’s a great feeling when you kick a goal.”
That “great feeling” certainly shows in Scott’s celebrations. From chainsaw rips reminiscent of a prime Brett Lee, to handshakes and outpourings of pure jubilation, the top-ager knows how to put an exclamation mark on her six-pointers. Luckily for those watching, Scott has “some new ones up in the cloud”.
Although the individual brilliance is difficult to overlook, bringing others into the game is something the Rebels standout is looking to expand on, making her more of a leader among the Rebels group. She even pointed out a few teammates to keep an eye on.
“I’d love to be in the leadership group, just to be a bit of a leader on and off the field to get more girls involved and confident in their game,” Scott said.
“Lilli Condon, she’s a little pocket rocket. Tahlia Meier, she’s going to be a little gun. Molly Walton, she’s a gun defender. Pretty much all of (my teammates), they’ve all got their different strengths and they’re all legends.”
In terms of achieving her goals, returning talent operations lead Brooke Brown just about sums up what keen watchers will be hoping for out of a player who has shown phenomenal flashes of talent thus far.
“Paige has got some wonderful football ability,” Brown said. “She’s got a fair bit to work on both on and off the field, but that’s a thing that we’ll do throughout the year to help her along. “She’s got a wonderful football brain… hopefully she can achieve what she wants to achieve in her footy both this year and beyond.”