By Tyler Lewis
The bar has been raised for Locky Scott.
After toiling away in the lower grades for Dandenong for many years before finally earning his Premier debut recently against Kingston Hawthorn, ones and twos Premier cricket is now his new benchmark.
After claiming 5/66 against Carlton, Scott made his long-awaited debut. But the milestone of becoming a first XI cricketer seemed to be one everyone else at training knew he’d reached before he did.
“It was Thursday, and one of the boys messaged me saying ‘congratulations’,” he said.
“I just assumed it was for my 5-fa – I didn’t realise I hadn’t set up my WhatsApp properly on my new phone.
“Brett (Forsyth) came up to me and said congratulations as well and I started to get suspicious.
“He asked about the WhatsApp group and I didn’t know what he was talking about. Sure enough I checked WhatsApp and saw I was in the ones group chat.“
On the morning of week one, skipper Tom Donnell sent the Hawks in and threw the brand new Kookaburra to Scott. Holding the new ball at the top of his mark in a Victorian Premier Cricket first XI was a moment he didn’t think was near, but one he wanted to right, while quietly desperate to get some ink in his wickets column.
“I was just happy to keep getting wickets at the start of the year,” he said.
“Getting bumped into the twos was massive – (I was) still excited to play in the twos then asked to play in ones, it was unreal.
“I was definitely really nervous, (but) it helps having Brett and ‘Nano’ (James Nanopoulous) at mid-on and mid-off talking you through it.
“From ball one I just tried to hit the spot and keep going from there. I tried not to do anything too special and let it happen.
“I was very relieved, I couldn’t really elaborate more on it. I was happy with the way I was bowling but to get that wicket out of the way was helpful for my confidence.
“(I will) try and cement my spot in the ones, I always aspire to play higher so we will see how it goes from there.”
A number of years ago, Scott decided to do the extras and get himself fit outside of cricket – it was a decision that has accelerated his development as a fast bowler.
“I wasn’t the fittest bloke going around,” he said.
“I think before I went to the gym I was almost 100kg, (and) I just thought this is ridiculous.
“I started getting myself fit. It helped me bowl a lot more overs and from there, after getting those overs in, getting better results.
“I try to get as many overs in on Tuesday and Thursday in the nets as I can to get bowling fit, and of course a lot of running.”
On 19 October, Scott was playing in the thirds and, like many players, didn’t think his time in the ones would come. However, unlike other players who often seek opportunity to play higher at an opposing club, Scott stayed true to Dandenong for the inner sanctum of mateship that is at Shepley through all.
“The culture,” he said.
“It is just such a great culture – everybody gets around everybody.
“Having a good performance and having everyone get around you just inspires you to do better.
“Everyone in the higher grades gets around everybody.
“The culture at the club is amazing, everyone gets along, there are no small groups here or there, everyone is a really tight unit.”
Scott took 2/27 in the first innings and 2/19 in the second innings as Dandenong claimed maximum points – a first XI debut he will never forget.