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Son of who? Surname confusion over Roos' R1 Rising Star nom

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BAILEY Scott's father is inextricably linked with North Melbourne, but his identity was a source of confusion for one young Kangaroo.

Fellow draftee Tom McKenzie initially thought Scott was the son of coach Brad Scott.

Imagine a father/son, coach/player dynamic at work at an AFL club now. North's dual premiership coach Denis Pagan tried it with his own son Ryan in 2000 and has long regretted it.

It's all academic really because Scott's actual father is, of course, Robert Scott, a 173cm rover who played 245 games and kicked 222 goals for Geelong and North Melbourne, winning a premiership under Pagan in 1996.

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His eldest son is taller and leaner at 186cm and has made a more immediate impact at AFL level than he did.

In his AFL debut in the Roos' season opener against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Sunday, Bailey Scott was arguably the Kangaroos' best player and perhaps their only shining light on a bleak day.

It was no mean feat in an 82-point loss in front of a typically vocal Perth crowd.

The 18-year-old wingman received the round one nomination for the NAB AFL Rising Star award after gathering 21 possessions at 90.5 per cent efficiency and drifting forward to snare two of their nine goals. His second major, which came deep in the last quarter, came via a skillful snap from 40 metres.

It was a bittersweet experience for Scott, who was deflated by both the match result and the season-ending knee injury suffered by teammate Ed Vickers-Willis.

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Scott and Vickers-Willis, 22, attend Melbourne University – Scott is studying civil systems and architecture, while Vickers-Willis focuses on commerce.

"The biggest thing that got to me was Ed going down. He's been really good to me and really embraced me. He's not only made the football club environment comfortable for me but also the university environment," Scott told AFL.com.au after arriving back in Melbourne on Monday evening.

"To see a good bloke go down, after what he's been through in previous years, it's pretty disappointing."

Given the magnitude of the defeat, Scott quickly deflected any personal praise and expressed his keenness to help his team bounce back. Only when pressed did he acknowledge that his individual performance had been a positive one.

"It was good to see that I was capable of playing at that level and could play my role for the team. Considering the result, that was the only upside for me. The coaches seemed happy with the way I played my role but there's obviously a bit for everyone to work on. It was a tough weekend," he said.

The mood was so sombre for the Roos onfield that Scott couldn't even celebrate his goals.

"It was nice to kick a couple but those moments quickly died off with the way the game was going," he said.

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Usually opposed by Ed Langdon or Bradley Hill on a wing, he was struck by the pair's "quickness in reaction time", which reinforced in Scott the need to be "switched on" at all times.

Scott was in the unique position of having three clubs to choose from – North Melbourne and Geelong under the father-son system, and Gold Coast as an academy player who cut his teeth at Morningside.

His support cast in Perth included eight of members of his family, including his parents and younger brother Darby, another promising AFL prospect.

"They were rapt to see me out there. Dad was happy for me but, coming from a football background, he understands the team side of things and he feels disappointment similar to someone who's involved with the club," he said.

Scott's efforts earnt praise from his coach, who described a player mature beyond his tender years.

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"He just played as we knew he would … He's got a really bright future in the game. He's a great role model for other young players because he's a great preparer. He's a thorough professional," Brad Scott told reporters post-match.

The youngster explained that this meticulous approach was simply a pre-requisite for getting the best out of himself.

"I've fitted in well at the club and found a role I can play for the team, and hopefully things continue along the same path," he said.

Scott could be forgiven for reassessing his season goals on the strength of his debut, but he's not going there.

"I'm just taking it one week at a time. It's a cliche but that's the mindset that works for me," he said.