Alex Scott on Punditry, Presenter Ambitions & Coca-Cola's Make Your Home the Home End Campaign

Alex Scott has always been one of the hardest working people in football.

The former Arsenal and England right back comes from a generation of grafters; the female footballers who weren't initially paid to play, who had full-time jobs alongside their playing careers and for whom growing up the closest thing to a tangible, visible role model was Jess from Bend It Like Beckham.

Even as the game blossomed and playing football became an actual career path for women in England, Scott doubled her workload by studying for a degree in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University - a course she began following the 2012 Olympics and finished during England's preparations for the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

With her dissertation handed in and boots hung up, the graft has continued.

"My lifestyle from the age of eight when I signed for Arsenal it's just been full on, 100%," Scott told 90min. "Everyone who knows who I am - I don't stop!"

The 35-year-old has worked her way up to becoming one of the most recognisable faces in sports media. She regularly appears on Sky and the BBC, has forged a reputation as one of football's most insightful, personable and popular pundits, and just as she did in her playing days, has blazed a trail for women to follow - achievements she admits she would not have dreamed of when she first signed up for her degree.

"When I was doing my media degree, it was a dream for me to have some sort of a job after football in that area," Scott added. "I remember doing Arsenal TV and thinking 'oh, this would be cool!'

"So to be sitting here working for BBC, working for Sky Sports and now crossing over into entertainment... no I don't think I would have ever envisioned to be where I am today. I think that's why I'm always so grateful and have this buzz because I'm just so happy that actually I've got a job and can still pay my mortgage!"

Just as her hard work from her playing days has continued through to her media career, Scott's process and attitude has remained the same.

"I don't get nervous," she added. "I didn't get nervous as a player: I got excited, and I think it was the adrenaline. I remember the feelings of walking out at Wembley or playing in a World Cup, it wasn't nerves it was 'oh my gosh, I have worked and dreamt of being in this moment, bring it on'.

"And it's the same in a TV studio. When you hear that countdown or you're just about to go live, I'm like a kid. I'm like: 'what's the worst that can happen?' How lucky are we? There are people who have lost their jobs and I get to sit here and talk about football. Why am I going to be nervous?

"I'm someone that loves constantly to learn; to try new things that are hard and that are challenging or people that might doubt me, like 'why's she doing that? She can't do that.'

"And I'm like 'okay, yeah maybe I can't but I'm going to try and I'm gonna prove to you (that I can).' It motivated me as a player and it's continued."

Although her profile and status has rocketed over the last year in particular, becoming a household name after appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, Scott has kept her feet firmly on the ground.

She remains close friends with her former Arsenal and England teammates, catching up with them during lockdown as part of her Scottie Talks Instagram live series.

"I'm always, as Drake would say, 'down with my day ones'," she laughed. "I was messaging Lucy [Bronze] yesterday (after her move to Manchester City). I can't believe she's taken number 20! I was like: 'what was that about?'

"She was like: 'I can't be a big timer, come and take number 2!'

"I was like: 'in the men's game they would, they're ruthless'."

Hosting her own mini chat show in lockdown showcased Scott's presenter credentials - a path she is keen to pursue. She has regularly co-hosted the One Show, and presented 2020 Sport Relief, and revealed that this is her primary ambition.

"I never wanted to be a pundit, I always wanted to be a presenter, that was my thing," Scott admitted "But then people saw how I would break down a game and that was my first kind of in.

"I could have sat in my comfort zone and just been a pundit for the rest of my life, but I'm like 'no, this is not what I set out to do'. And actually who made the rule that you had to be one or the other? For me I want to keep growing as an individual and still achieving what I set out to achieve, which is ultimately I want to be a presenter.

"Everyone thinks my dream job would be to take over from Gary Lineker and present Match of the Day, and I sit here and I'm like 'I don't know if that's what I want.'

"I'm not putting a cross in it but actually is that show for me and my character? In years to come things might change. How we're watching football these days is changing anyway."

With the landscape of football viewing transforming as a result of coronavirus, Scott has signed up for Coca-Cola's Make Your Home the Home End Campaign, alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Jermaine Jenas. With football still being played behind closed doors, the campaign encourages fans to turn their homes into the home end.

"I will never just jump at every single opportunity, they have to fit with my goals and my values as a person and a human being," Scott explained.

"The reason I signed with Coca-Cola because I love that element; they're spending that time with fans. How we're watching football is different, so they're trying to make it fun and engaging for people to be at home, and create that home end and that feeling of bringing people together watching football."

Source : 90min