THERE are a number of things that can go wrong when conducting a Zoom call to in excess of 150 people.
Melbourne avoided all of them during its AFLW Best and Fairest last Friday night, that is until the winner was announced.
Shelley Scott, who lives on her family farm in Gerangamete, faced some challenges with her reception, but she’s not to blame.
After anticipating the struggles, Scott was all set-up in her car ready to watch the event, until senior coach Mick Stinear intervened.
“I thought I’d go out, get good reception and enjoy the night,” Scott told Melbourne Media.
“Anyway, Mick ended up sending me a message saying, ‘You’re one of the award winners tonight, can you please go back inside.’”
With her trophy hidden away in the house following a secret delivery that morning, Scott complied, trying her best to follow along.
And while Stinear’s text was a bit of a spoiler, the eventual winner was still surprised when her name was called out.
“Given previous years where we’ve done best mid, best defender, best forward, I thought maybe I’m a chance for best forward,” she said.
“I was thinking there was more to the presentation and it would take a bit longer, so it was quite unexpected.”
As Scott received the award from her mum and took centre stage to make her acceptance speech, there was one major issue: no one could hear her.
“I was getting the video feed really clearly at the start, but I’m not quite sure what happened after that,” she said.
“It was kind of hard because I had no idea that it had cut out … but then my sister rang me not long after and she’s like, ‘Yeah, you just kept freezing.’”
Sure, it wasn’t the ideal conclusion to the evening, but that’s technology for you, and it was a special one for Scott, nonetheless.
While the 32-year-old probably didn’t receive the credit she deserved externally for her stellar 2020 campaign, it’s fair to say that didn’t faze her in the slightest.
“I’m happy that way,” Scott said.
“I feel very valued at Melbourne and that’s how I gauge it.
“What everyone else thinks I’m not too stressed.
“I’m quite happy to fly under the radar – less attention is always good for me.”
Although Scott is a quiet character off the field, the former co-captain leads by example, and her commitment to the game is second to none.
In fact, a mere trip to training took two hours behind the wheel, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think I’ve got a better balance because I’m not in the city forcing myself to work in a job that I probably don’t necessarily have a lot of passion for,” she said.
“Whereas farming, I just really enjoy having animals around – it adds a lot to life and there’s always something different to do every day.
“It’s a fairly big passion of mine … so it’s nice to have it back in my life.”
Juggling the two things she loves – farming and footy – Scott was able to get the best out of herself and thrive in her fourth season at the Dees.
“I probably enjoyed it the most this year,” she said.
“Each year you develop stronger relationships and friendships with the people around you.
“We’ll continue to build that and keep getting better and I’ll continue to really enjoy it.”
Averaging 11 disposals and four marks across the seven-game season, Scott was a thoroughly deserving recipient of Melbourne’s top honour, finishing two votes clear of Karen Paxman in the count.