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Lycett's special visit during Whyalla community camp

Piece of home for Scott Lycett in Whyalla | PTV Scott Lycett gets the opportunity to visit his grandparents in Whyalla on the 2019 Community Camp

HE doesn’t see them as often as they would like and never responds to their text messages, but Scott Lycett has as least given his grandparents something to brag about to their friends in Whyalla.

Lycett moved away to Perth after being drafted by West Coast when he was 18 but after 45 goals in 75 games, including the Eagles’ 2018 AFL Grand Final success, he used free agency to move to Port Adelaide, where he made his senior debut in the SANFL in 2010.

So having rarely seen him for eight years, the Power’s Community Camp to Whyalla last month provided the ideal chance to catch up for Lycett’s grandparents Marilyn and Bob Melville who live in the Upper Spencer Gulf city.

“It’s very special actually,” Marilyn told portadelaidefc.com.au while sitting on her back porch with her arm around Lycett.

“When he was over in Perth, we only went over there three or four times and it would always be hard to catch up.

“Now, it’s going to be great that he’s back in Adelaide and we can go down a lot more often.

“It’s even better when he’s here – it saves us driving.”

After visiting students at Fisk Street Primary School and patients at the Whyalla Hospital, Lycett found some time to visit his grandparents before a short training session, football clinic and sportsman’s night.

But the visit nearly didn’t happen.

The Community Camp was announced less than two weeks before it happened, and Lycett was not sure he would be there.

“We heard a couple of weeks ago that Port Adelaide were coming up here and we had our fingers crossed that he might (visit),” Marilyn said.

“I kept texting him asking if he was coming, and being a typical grandson, of course there was no response.”

Quick to defend himself, Lycett butted in.

“I didn’t know if I was coming up but eventually, I found out!” he exclaimed.

For Marilyn, having an AFL player as a grandson has its perks.

While it makes her a minor celebrity amongst friends, it also fills her with great pride.

“I get choked up every now and then,” she beamed.

“When you don’t see him very often but you see him in the paper or on the telly, you think ‘he’s my Grandson’

“We only have to say our grandson is Scott Lycett and people here get excited.

And then turning to Lycett she said: “You come in handy darling!”

The big man was quick to respond.

“I have to be good for something I suppose,” Lycett said.

For Bob, Lycett’s move to Port Adelaide was bitter sweet.

While he is happy to be closer to his grandson, he has lost an excuse to travel.

“I was a bit disappointed because I miss out on my trip to Perth,” he explained.

“But no, it is good.

“He’s our bragging piece in Whyalla, because I’d say most of Whyalla is Port Adelaide.”

Marilyn and Bob admit they are “not really” Port Adelaide people but say they “probably will” be converted.

They say their grandson was always destined to play in the AFL.

“He never wanted to be a garbo or a fireman or anything like that, not like a normal kid,” Bob explained.

“He just wanted to be an AFL footballer.”

And while he grew up in Smoky Bay, a small fishing town renowned for its oysters on South Australia’s West Coast, Marilyn said it never stopped him dreaming.

She said even as a child he was determined to achieve his dream.

“Even when he was only knee high to a grasshopper, his parents had the Thevenard Hotel just out of Ceduna and you’d say to him then ‘what do you want to be Scott?’ and he’d say ‘AFL Footballer’,” Marilyn said.

“He was very strong minded when he was little – stubborn even – so he was very determined that if he was going to do something, he would do it regardless - he didn’t need anybody’s help.”

“He used to run and do all this training, just single-mindedly.

“It was incredible to see and now he’s reaping the benefits.”