Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY SI­MONE KER­WIN sker­win@ ne­me­dia.com.au

Footy fans know him as an on­field ma­gi­cian, who can con­jure un­likely goals and spec­tac­u­lar marks.

To Libby and Barry Scullie, Ade­laide champ Ed­die Betts is all that and so much more, and the Wan­garatta cou­ple is rapt their son-in-law has a shot at premier­ship glory on Satur­day.

The Scul­lies will be along­side their daugh­ter, Anna, and grand­sons Lewis (4) and Billy (2) at the grand fi­nal, as Ed­die and his Crows mates shoot for the club’s first flag since 1998, and Ed­die’s first from his 13 years in the AFL.

While Barry has been work­ing in Ade­laide and had the chance to at­tend last Fri­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Gee­long, Libby watched the game on TV from Wan­garatta, in case youngest daugh­ter Lilly’s sec­ond baby ar­rived on the scene.

“They had so much go­ing for them - at home with that crowd, which is just fan­tas­tic,” she said.

“Ade­laide is just a huge city for foot­ball, I think there’s more hype there even than in Mel­bourne.

“When the cheers go up for Ed­die at that ground, you just tin­gle all over.”

Ed­die has been part of the Scullie fam­ily for the past decade, through his years at Carl­ton and the move to Ade­laide, and Libby de­scribed him as “just a gen­uine guy”.

“He’s a calm­ing in­flu­ence on ev­ery­one,” she said.

“He men­tors the younger play­ers, and he’s a softie, and a great dad too.”

She said Anna and Ed­die’s boys had in­her­ited their dad’s pas­sion and tal­ent for footy.

“The boys play foot­ball non­stop,” she said.

“They live op­po­site a footy oval, and they are al­ways prac­tis­ing the trick shots and kick­ing into door­ways at home.

“They love it to the point where at the end of the day, when they’ve fin­ished play­ing, they put their arms around each other and sing the song.

“If you ask them who their favourite player is, one of them will say Ed­die Betts.

“But I think Ed­die Betts and Dad are al­most two dif­fer­ent peo­ple to them.”

Ade­laide has lived through its fair share of heartache in re­cent years, with the deaths of as­sis­tant coach Dean Bai­ley, the tragic loss of coach Phil Walsh, and the re­cent pass­ing of player Sam Ja­cobs’ brother.

Libby said the events had gal­vanised the team as a fam­ily, and any suc­cess that came its way would be well de­served.

She said Ed­die’s role as a men­tor, par­tic­u­larly to young in­dige­nous play­ers like Char­lie Cameron, who lived with Anna and Ed­die for a time, could not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“They call him un­cle as a sign of re­spect, and they re­ally lis­ten to him,” Libby said.

“They have mob night once a week, and they all bring some­thing to eat and have din­ner to­gether.”

And, as was high­lighted in TV cover­age over the week­end, Ed­die and Anna have even been able to in­flu­ence eat­ing habits; com­men­ta­tor Basil Zem­pi­las told the footy au­di­ence that Char­lie Cameron had never eaten veg­eta­bles be­fore moving in with the cou­ple.

Libby said the fam­ily had made a smooth tran­si­tion to life in Ade­laide, and worked well as a team.

“I couldn’t be prouder of both of them and what they’ve achieved,” she said.

“Peo­ple don’t re­alise what Ed does for the whole com­mu­nity, and the work he does be­hind the scenes.”

As for Satur­day’s match, it will be Libby’s first at­ten­dance at an AFL grand fi­nal, and what bet­ter way to mark it than wel­com­ing a premier­ship medal­lion to the fam­ily?

“I feel a bit ner­vous now,” she said.

“We’re go­ing to the grand fi­nal pa­rade on Fri­day, and we’ll take (son) Tom and his daugh­ter Evie, and Anna and the boys, and (el­dest son) Paul and his wife will be there for the game too.

“There are go­ing to be so many Rich­mond fans there, but I think the Crows will win it.

“You saw the emo­tion for Ed speak­ing after last week’s win - it just means so much.”

And could there be some Betts magic in store?

“We never take for granted those things he does on the field - he will al­ways come out with some­thing spe­cial,” she said.

Peo­ple don’t re­alise what Ed does for the whole com­mu­nity, and the work he does be­hind the scenes. - Libby Scullie


FAM­ILY FO­CUSED: Wan­garatta’s Barry Scullie with son-in-law and Ade­laide cham­pion Ed­die Betts, and Ed­die and Anna’s chil­dren Billy (2) and Lewis (4).

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