LONG WAY HOME: Matthew Scott at the MCG, Melbourne, a place which is a long way from his home town of Ilfracombe, Queensland.
LONG WAY HOME: Matthew Scott at the MCG, Melbourne, a place which is a long way from his home town of Ilfracombe, Queensland. DAVID CROSLING

Central Division and Men Of League keep people in the game

MATT Scott speaks fondly of the bush.

His heartache at the thought of people out west is clear in his voice when he talks about the distress farmers feel when they shoot their stock because they can't feed them.

Before he left Ilfracombe the young forward played the game he loved on the dusty fields, and he knows how important it is to have a release from the stress of running a property, or business in town, when there has not been any rain to support production.

Scott explained football can be exactly what people need to get through this tough time in the bush.

"Some people say it's just a game but it's more than that," Scott said.

"Rugby league is something the community can get behind."

Central Division floated the idea earlier this year and Men of League Foundation, with the help of the QRL will help in any way they can to keep competitions running and players/officials involved in the game.

The impact of the drought on Scott's home town and what it has done to the sport of rugby league in the community has been severe.

Earlier this year, the Ilfracombe Scorpions had to abandon all home games because their ground was so dry it was too dangerous to play on. Taking the distraction of a Sunday afternoon at the footy away from the Scorpions' fans.

Scott has helped personally by arranging sponsors for the Scorpions to travel each week but more is needed, and Men Of League are filling the gap for clubs like Ilfracombe.

What the foundation is doing has not been lost on Scott.

"This is great, it (the drought) hasn't been thought about as much as other natural disasters like earthquakes," he said.

"It's great to see people realise how the drought is affecting people out there.

"They will be happy to have the support and think it's fantastic."

Supporters can support Men In League and its drive to help people in the bush by getting to Salter Oval Sunday. There will be a collection bucket at the gate and any donation will be appreciated.

After the supporters lend a hand they will have two A-grade games to enjoy, Waves Tigers play Wallaroos play at 1.20pm and Wests take on Hervey Bay at 3pm.



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