Western Bulldogs AFWL Player Hannah Scott

Transcript:

SPEAKER:
Hi, everyone, and thank you so much for joining us for our webinar this evening. I'm very pleased to be joined today with Bulldogs number 22, Hannah Scott, from (UNKNOWN) team. Welcome, Hannah.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Hello.

SPEAKER:
Basically, what we here today is just to learn a little bit more about you, how you balance your work and your AFLW career and kind of to give any advice to young aspiring players out there. I might start with our first question, which is if you can tell us a little bit about your weekly schedule.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, so I have a full time job. So during the week, I'm up at around 5:00 in the morning and I work in civil construction, so I'm actually doing my cert three in that and hoping to then do my cert four and further on in that as well and look into getting into supervising and stuff like that. But yeah, so during the day I can do sort of a normal day is probably a 10 hour shift at work. And then when we have full occupations with the (INAUDIBLE) doing, yeah, that's a 12 hour shift. So I'm doing generally around 60 plus hours a week of work and then, yeah, three days a week we've got football training. So I have to try...

SPEAKER:
That's a very busy schedule.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, yeah, it is, it is. And it's not easy, but yeah, they're both things that I love and enjoy and work's been really fantastic. So I'll go from work and if I'm rostered on for a 12 hour shift, I'll leave a little bit early just so I can get to training. And then sometimes I'll get home at about 11 o'clock on a training night. So, yeah, there's not much time to sleeping there.

SPEAKER:
Yeah, but you said that your employer is quite supportive of your career?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, definitely. So I only actually started with (UNKNOWN) in November. So it was right when really we were just getting into official pre-season training. So I was very open with them straight off the bat that I'm very passionate about my footy and I had AFLW contract, and it was something that they actually saw as a massive positive. So obviously work in a team environment very driven, and that sort of hands itself out to working in construction and civil construction. So, yeah. And actually, my superintendent was at the game on Sunday. So my first game this year and his daughter was there and she was actually wearing a jumper with my number on the back. So that sort of tells you a little bit of how supportive they've been in just a short space of time already.

SPEAKER:
Yeah, that's right. That's very lovely, isn't it? Have you ever had an experience where you have maybe had to sacrifice either your work or your football career?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, look, I have barely missed any training sessions. I actually think, one, the coach told me to go home because I looked like a (UNKNOWN) and the other one was I was scheduled for an off-leg session anyway. So they told me that, yeah, I sort of, if I needed to take a day off, then I could. And so on that day, I worked a 12 hour shift, so yeah. They're sort of the only only ones. I mean, I sort of have to make sacrifices every week, but they're all trying to remain as manageable as possible. And I've sort of made it a bit of a give and take so that when I'm not in my AFL season, I can give more of myself to my job. So they're very aware that I'm that type of person and that it's just definitely not one way.

SPEAKER:
That would be very mentally straining as well, this type of schedule you have, is there anything that you do to try and just make sure your mental health is looked after?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. So I think try and get as much you time as possible as you can in those times like things that are actually just for you. So obviously I love playing football and I need my job and I enjoy going to work. But, you know, there's things that you like for instance, taking my dog for a walk where it's just me and I put my headphones in and yeah, I can just walk and listen to music. I think music is a really big thing for me. And I'm also an avid gamer. So I get on the video games...

SPEAKER:
I did notice the chair you were sitting in.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yes, this is my PlayStation to thank you AFL gamers. So, yeah,(UNKNOWN) Interactive actually sent me some stuff. So yeah, that that's pretty cool. But I think a lot of it is and it's still things that I'm really trying to get better at is actually writing everything down and actually having a schedule, and not stretching yourself too thin where you can really avoid it. So I find that people can sometimes feel like they have to say yes to absolutely everything and then they sort of realize that actually or I'm supposed to be doing, I've actually got football training or I'm doing a 12 hour shift that day. And if you don't write things down and actually have a diary and a schedule and stuff, things can easily get away from you.

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So I think yeah, just trying to like let yourself have those moments and realize that no one's going to be as hard on you as you are on yourself. So if you can't make something, if you have to reschedule to another time or people will understand. It's just like me doing this with you, which we sort of had a little laugh about, just that it was hard because I do have such a busy schedule and then you're not in work every day and we just weren't mashing up. But, you know, people will understand and you'll be out to work it out. So I think just being conscious yourself is probably my biggest one.

SPEAKER:
Yeah. That's something that I think I've learned a bit as I've got older, is that if you think, you kind of put yourself in the other person's position and if they told you they were too busy and they wanted to reschedule, you're always gonna, "sure no worries you understand that." So it's gonna be the same so try not to stress out about it.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And like I said, I think that people are the hardest on themselves. So it really is just be kind to self. And, you know, everyone knows that you're gonna be doing your best and you're gonna try and work around things. But sometimes it's just not possible and sometimes you just need that time for yourself. So don't feel guilty in doing that.

SPEAKER:
And that leads me on to my next question, about what kind of advice you would give to any young athletes, whether male or female, but that are realizing that the sport might not be a professional sport that they can make a full time living from?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, well, obviously, depending on your situation, like, I can't survive on just AFLW. Whether it be you're renting or you have a mortgage or it's obviously not full time. So I mean, 100% still pursue it. It's not always been easy for me, but I'm definitely not the most organized person and I sometimes really have my moments of not wanting to do things, but I've been able to achieve it. And I've been in the AFLW for five years now. And I'm now 30, oh, gosh, that makes me feel really old, and I'm still out on the park. So I think that if you want something bad enough, you find ways to make it happen and you surround yourself with people that will do what they can to make that a reality for you.

>:
So my support network has been enormous in that. You know, when we'd have interstate games and everything, I'd have to, you know, (INAUDIBLE) the pets off to to mom or my sister or... So I think, really leaning on that support network and and just having discussions with people that have been there and done that, might really help in giving you ideas of how you might make something like that work, but definitely don't write off a part time, you know, sport career, for any reason. It's definitely doable. And if you find the right people, whether it be with your other job or anything like that, will come and go. And if it's something that you love, I don't think there's any reason that you should have to give that up.

SPEAKER:
Yeah, that's really great advice. On the AFLW Overall, it's obviously really been picking up pace over the last few years since it really started. Have you noticed that it has changed or the perception of the game has changed?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, I think it's getting more and more professional every year and even just the skills every year, the way that it's coached it's very much changing, it's a changing landscape. And it's getting harder and harder to, you know, to make a team. Like the girls that we have coming through, they've been able to play AFL from (UNKNOWN) all the way through. and now we're starting to see that talent. And I think anyone could say the natural abilities that they have when you've been out of do something all the way through unbroken, what we women can achieve and how good we can be. So I think just in that aspect and obviously even just this year with COVID, it's changed in a lot of different ways, like we're getting a much sort of released every week now. So that's a change probably, yeah, that no one really thought was gonna be there but now we're just having to adapt to that. And I think seeing the way that all the players have been able to do that has been has been pretty amazing.

SPEAKER:
That's actually a really good lead into what it was like coming back into this environment. Obviously the season was interrupted at the start of last year with COVID, then with all the different kind of schedules in terms of training. As you said, your matches are only being released one week at a time. How has that changed your approach to this year?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, it's been really challenging, you know. We call it a pre-season where we're training prior to the pre-season, probably just because it's not enough time to get where we need to get to. And in that time, we were training by ourselves. We could only train, yeah, sort of by ourselves for one hour within that zone of your area. And that was really challenging and isolating. But at the same time, it was nice to be able to have that, to sort of think I need to go and do this and it sort of got you out of thinking too much about everything else going on. And then when we got to come into training, it was still different. We were in small groups and yeah, it was hard. It's hard when you're training a team sport and, you know, it's coming up to round one and you haven't been able to train as a full squad, it just throws in a lot of unknowns. And you're trying to sort of plan for every type of situation. And yeah, it's really difficult.

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But again, just seeing the way that everybody has adapted from, you know, the staff have been absolutely amazing, how our coaches... And just how we've been able to bond as a team with all of this going on has, it's almost, I think, made us all a lot closer. 'Cause we're all going through AFLW, but then we've got on top of that where we're all going through this other sort of based as well. So, yeah. I think that it's just been really different...

SPEAKER:
Yeah, that's right. Has there been much kind of discussion around, 'cause obviously there was this lockdown that happened just recently that no one kind of had, but I think we kind of convinced ourselves that wasn't gonna happen again. Is there much of a backup plan for those situations or are you just trying to look forward?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. It's really difficult to plan for sort of having snap meetings as groups 'cause there's a lot of unknowns and we sort of have to stay on top of every possibility that could happen. So we're just sort of governed by the government and the AFL are working really closely with them. So you probably know that as much as I do. As for what could happen in the next couple of weeks, it just really depends on how well we go as a state with everything going on. And, you know, fingers crossed, we keep having new cases and that we can keep trying to live as much of a normal life is as possible and enjoying our friends and family. And I think that that's sort of probably one of the things that you can maybe take as a positive out of it, is you realize how much your family and your loved ones and your friends mean to you and you maybe take them for granted a little bit less.

SPEAKER:
Yeah, so the final question from me before I get to a couple that we've got from some of the fans, is whether during lockdown last year, you learned any new skills. Were you one of those... What type of lockdown person were you?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Well, I was actually still working. So in my previous job, we did some essential things and then obviously now again with working for the (UNKNOWN) doing civil construction where infrastructure. So I haven't really had much luck down. It has been a few...

SPEAKER:
Lucky you.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, it is, it is. It gives you something to get up and go to and still be able to earn a living. I'm very lucky in that sense. And the times that I was on lockdown, the only skill that I really did was I managed to become an expert online shopper I think, you know. It was the small pleasures of getting a parcel, I'm obsessed with clothing and shoes and video games. So, yeah, my brother who I live with was kind of like, he'd sort of go to the door and he'd get the parcel, and he would look at me like, you've ordered something else, like what is wrong with you? So, yeah, sadly, I think that was the only thing that I was really good at.

SPEAKER:
Oh, look, I think we all needed these little gifts for ourselves during that time, so that's totally understandable.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, that and coloring books. Actually, yeah. I got a bit obsessed with coloring books for a little bit there.

SPEAKER:
The adult ones or children ones?

HANNAH SCOTT:
I mean, I guess you could class them as adult, but I don't know. I think it can be quite mindful to do it. You just sort of, and that's...

SPEAKER:
I think it's really good to mindfulness.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. So it's about as creative as I get really is coloring in the lines.

SPEAKER:
Oh well done. So just a couple of questions before we finish from a few fans. So there's been a question of whether you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?

HANNAH SCOTT:
No, not really. I mean, I have about 10 (UNKNOWN) and they all (UNKNOWN) pink, and I'll just sort of like, coming into a season and almost a bit of a lucky (INAUDIBLE) of which one I wear. If I play terribly, I'll push it to the back of the pile but if I play well, I'll wear that same (CROSSTALK) the next game. But yeah, I don't really have many. I feel like if you have, the more you have, the more things that can sort of go a bit askew and then maybe get a little bit stressful. So I try not to have too much of that.

SPEAKER:
Yeah. And well is there a song or anything, you said music's really important to you. Is there a particular song or artist that really fires you up?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. So there's a song that I like to listen to, sort of the last song on my trip to the game, whether it be when we're in the bus or in the car and I'm just sort of, I can just say, (UNKNOWN), I put it on and it's a remix of (UNKNOWN), do you know, it's (UNKNOWN) and Jess Glynne and it's a mash up remix and it's very good and it gets me pumped up, gets me in feels, so yeah, that's definitely one of them. And then post game if we have a, yeah... I mean one that our club loves is Jackie. But yeah, I think for me, it's (UNKNOWN).

SPEAKER:
Yeah all cool. And so another question that's come through, which is relevant to what you were talking about before, about some of the new players coming through this play (INAUDIBLE) everything, what age did you start playing?

HANNAH SCOTT:
So I followed my brother around like a bad smell when I was younger...

SPEAKER:
Sounds like you still do if you live with him.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. To be honest, I don't see him that much, he games more than I do. So we just sort of high five each other on the way through. But yeah. So I was obsessed with footy from a very young age and then at nine years old I wouldn't take no for an answer and told Mum that I was playing football. I rang her while she's at work and she said no. And I just said, I'm going and I hung up the phone and I actually ran to football training myself. And then I played until I was under 12. And then they told me I wasn't allowed to play with the boys anymore. So, yeah, after that I went to (UNKNOWN) till I was 19. And it wasn't until I was 19 that I sort of found out that there was women's football going on. So, yeah, that was seven years where I didn't play.

SPEAKER:
And so did you play with a local club when you realized that it was an option?

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah, yeah. So I had a friend that played at (UNKNOWN) Women's, which I actually live just around the corner from now, which is funny. And my boss was actually, my superintendent, small world, was actually president there at one stage (INAUDIBLE). So yeah, I played a couple of years there and then as things progressed I ended up in Premier Division Women's and then that became AFLW.

SPEAKER:
Yeah, oh, that's great. Well, you know, I think that's probably a really inspiring story to leave it with for today. It's been really great to hear about your journey. You certainly are not doing it the easy way. So congratulations to you for your dedication and everything that you put in to the team and to the sport. So thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about that. And we wish you lots of luck for the next game and hopefully the next multiple seasons to come.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Yeah. Thank you very much. It's been nice to have a chat, thank you.

SPEAKER:
Perfect. Well, we'll speak soon. Thanks Hannah, bye.

HANNAH SCOTT:
Bye.

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