PORT ADELAIDE has a deep connection with ANZAC Day through its long relationship with the Australian Defence Force, which dates back to early last century.
But playing against St Kilda on ANZAC Day will be extra special for one player, who feels that connection more than others through his family links to the ADF.
Scott Lycett’s father, grandfathers and great grandfather have each served the nation and the ruckman feels proud and privileged to take the field on a day that means so much to his family.
“It’s very special,” Lycett said on Adelaide radio of the opportunity.
“In the past, not many teams get to actually play on ANZAC Day when it falls during the week and Collingwood and Essendon get that privilege.
“I’ve got some family that have served in the Army, Navy and Air Force and it’s pretty special to be able to run out on that day, I’m looking forward to it.”
Port Adelaide has had more than 130 players and staff serve in the ADF, including 13 who perished.
The club has a longstanding relationship with the ADF through its community programs and it has hosted an ANZAC Round clash for 17 consecutive seasons, notwithstanding 2020’s COVID-19 lockdown.
The significance of the occasion is not lost on Lycett.
“My dad was a chef in the Army, my Grandpa, dad’s dad, was in the Navy and his job was to disarm sea bombs at sea and my Grandma’s dad was also in the Air Force and he actually put all the bombs on the planes in World War II,” he said.
“It’s a very special occasion for my family so I’m just rapt to be able to play footy on that day.
“My Dad will be down for the day to watch the game. He served his time and it’s very special for him.”
Lycett is planning to get to the dawn service at Woodville on Sunday morning to pay his respects.
He explained it was a family tradition to attend a service and he recommended everyone get along to one.
The 28-year-old has started the season strongly, averaging 16 disposals and 24 hit-outs but will face another challenge this week against Saints with lead ruckman Rowan Marshall to return from injury to form a tandem with the inexperienced Paul Hunter.
“I haven’t played against (Hunter) but I’ve played against Marshall a couple of times and he’s obviously a quality player,” Lycett said.
“I don’t go into any game underestimating any player because I think there’s a reason why you’re playing AFL and that’s because you’ve got some good things going for you.
“The day I start going in underrating players is probably the day I’ll get the boot and get flogged so I’ll definitely pay him respect, that’s for sure.”
Port Adelaide faces St Kilda from 6:10pm on Sunday evening.
Along with the traditional ANZAC commemoration service, the pre-game will feature a special free screening of the locally produced documentary The Rover of Tobruk, which documents the life and exploits of Port Adelaide legend Bob Quinn, who won two Magarey Medals wither side of a Military Medal.
Patrons are encouraged to arrive early to watch the film on the Adelaide Oval big screen from 4:45pm.