‘Masterclass’: AFL fans all say the same thing about the ‘old school’ commentator.

There are deafening calls from AFL fans to hear more from a commentator after his dulcet tones were noticed again over the Easter weekend.

Respected horse racing caller Matt Hill has turned to commentating Aussie Rules for Fox Footy and radio station SEN this season and fans are absolutely loving it.

Watch every game of every round of this Toyota AFL Premiership season LIVE with no commercial breaks during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today >

Hill first impressed viewers in Round 1 when he announced Melbourne’s victory over the Western Bulldogs on Fox Footy.

And he again earned praise for his commentary on the match between Richmond and the Sydney Swans at the MCG on Easter Sunday – alongside Dwayne Russell, Garry Lyon and Jack Riewoldt on Fox Footy.

“The bounce of the ball is not far away as I salute one of the best callers in the country, Matt Hill,” Russell said at the start of the coverage.

“Great to be here, Dwayne,” Hill replied.

Spectators were particularly excited by a passage of play towards the end of the fourth quarter when Richmond youngster Seth Campbell neatly scooped a loose ball down the wing before the Tigers won a free kick inside their forward 50 metres.

Listen to Matt Hill’s commentary in the video above.

There have been loud calls on social media for Hill to televise more AFL games.

Podcast host Ralph Horowitz said on X: “I don’t think there’s a long list of footy callers better than Matt Hill.

“I would confidently assume that the list is zero if you filter it out for those who are even better at naming another sport.”

Ben Cameron added: “The AFL and its broadcasters should get really serious and put Matt Hill in charge of commentating on every game that doesn’t interfere with racing on a Saturday.”

“He really has panels on the field now that Bruce and Dennis are retired. The absolute professional.”

One fan said: “Matt Hill is smoother than butter. Describes the highs and lows like no other modern commentator.”

A second said: “All football commentators need to take note of Matt Hill. A master class is currently taking place. Apparently you don’t have to scream at every opportunity.”

“Matt Hill is a jet… what a commentator,” a third added.

“Some of the capers really need to be acknowledged. No nonsense, just an accurate, beautiful representation of the game.”

One AFL fan said on Reddit: “His pace matches the pace of the game perfectly. I can tell from the speed of his voice how important these few seconds are.”

Another said: “I like the fact that I can put the football on and do some tidying, cleaning or just read a book AND I know who has the football and where.”

“He just… calls the play. Old school. Love it. Let him play more games.”

Hill also covered Thursday night’s game between Brisbane and Collingwood at the Gabba for SEN alongside Gerard Whateley.

The requirement to “have Matt Hill at every game” could be logistically difficult since he typically hosts horse races most Saturdays.

But the AFL’s TV rights landscape will change in 2025 when a new broadcast deal comes into effect allowing Fox Footy’s commentary team to call every game of every round.

Currently Channel 7 broadcasts around four to five games per round, which are simulcast on Fox Footy.

The new agreement could spark a bidding war for Hill’s services, with Fox Footy and Craig Hutchison’s SEN having already signed him.

Hill reached the pinnacle last year when he called the AFL Grand Final for SEN’s digital platform, AFL Nation.

“I pinch myself because I never thought an opportunity would come so early. I’ve only called footy for the last three years,” Hill told Racenet.

“The main priority, just like a race call, is to get it as accurate as possible.”

“Football used to traditionally take place on Saturdays, so it would have been impossible for a race participant to call football,” said Hill, who has called the Melbourne Cup since 2017.

“Now that the rounds are spread out from Thursday night to Sunday, I can call races on Saturday and call footy around it.

“The hardest thing for me, as much as I loved being a race caller… I didn’t want to just be a race caller.

“It’s always interesting when you play another sport, how they (the public) always refer to you as ‘the racer’… (it) can be hard to shake because people know me as the racer.

“Some of the great callers, Bruce McAvaney, Ray Warren and Peter Donegan, were all race callers who later became sports broadcasters, so in some ways following in their footsteps.”

His experience as a horse racing driver helped him to successfully enter football.

“Once you get into the right rhythm, it’s a little bit like a race call,” Hill said.

“The thing about naming races is the economy of words, and the AFL becomes a bit like that too because it’s fast.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button