It was smiles all around when Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron fronted the media after his side’s historic 45-point AFL win over Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
Then Tom Scully was mentioned.
Cameron would have been forgiven for popping champagne after the Giants notched their maiden away win, the club’s biggest victory and most points in a match in their short history.
But Cameron bristled when vice-captain Scully’s telling 30-disposal display was brought up post-match.
Scully appears on a hiding to nothing with critics after accepting a reported $1 million a season deal.
Especially when inevitably compared with fellow expansion franchise pioneer, two-time Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett of the Gold Coast.
And it seems Cameron is growing tired of it.
Asked about Scully’s Saturday night display, Cameron said: “Yeah, he was impressive – he’s not undervalued at our footy club.”
Pressed on whether he was sick of criticism of Scully, Cameron replied: “I ignore it because it is irrelevant.
“The value he holds among our footy club and staff is enormous – his last three weeks have been outstanding.”
But Cameron didn’t overreact to his side’s memorable victory, simply describing it as a “significant moment for our footy club”.
“We’ve been trying for two and a half years and so to win on the road in that style was really, really good,” he said.
Cameron believed the three majors they kicked to seal a one point halftime lead proved the turning point – not Brisbane Lions champion forward Jonathan Brown being subbed out early in the third term with concussion.
He dipped his hat to ruckman Shane Mumford who sparked a 52-30 clearance advantage and returning skipper Phil Davis after his first senior game in 12 weeks back from a career-threatening kidney injury.
“We’re still going to go up and down, we’re a very, very young side, but our ups and downs are going to be few and far between,” Cameron said.
“We’re starting to realise if we compete and we do the things we know we can, we’ll be in games for longer.”