‘Masterclass’: AFL fans all say same thing about ‘old school’ commentator Matt Hill

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There are deafening calls from AFL fans to hear more from one commentator after his dulcet tones stood out again over the Easter weekend.

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

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Hill first impressed viewers in Round 1 during his Fox Footy call of Melbourne’s win over the Western Bulldogs.

And he again drew praise for his commentary of the game 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 not far away as I welcome one of the best callers in the land Matt Hill,” Russell said to begin the coverage.

“Terrific to be here Dwayne,” Hill replied.

Viewers were particularly enamoured by a passage of play late in the fourth quarter when Richmond youngster Seth Campbell scooped up a loose ball cleanly on the wing before the Tigers won a free kick in their forward 50.

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

There were resounding calls on social media for Hill to call more AFL games for TV.

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

“Would confidently think the list is zero when filtered to those who are even better at calling another sport.”

Ben Cameron added: “The AFL and their broadcasters should really just get serious & employ Matt Hill to commentate every game that doesn’t interfere with the races on a Saturday.

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

One fan said: “Matt Hill smoother than butter. Calls the ebbs and flows like no other modern commentator.”

A second said: “All footy commentators need to take note of Matt Hill. A masterclass is taking place right now. Apparently you don’t need to yell at every opportunity.”

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

“A few in the caper really need to take note. No rubbish just an accurate beautiful call of the game.”

An AFL supporter said on Reddit: “His pacing matches the game’s pacing perfectly. I can tell how critical this few seconds are by the speed of his voice.”

Another said: “I like the fact that I can have the footy 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. Have him do more games.”

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

The calls to “get Matt Hill on every game” might be logistically difficult, given he usually calls horse racing most Saturdays.

But the AFL TV rights landscape will change in 2025 when a new broadcast deal kicks in, 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 to Fox Footy.

The new arrangement could spark a bidding war for Hill’s services, with Fox Footy and Craig Hutchison’s SEN already snapping him up.

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

“I’m pinching myself about this one because I never thought an opportunity would come this early, I’ve only called footy for the last three years,” Hill said to racenet.

“The main priority, just like a race call, is to call it as accurately as you can.”

“Traditionally the football used to be Saturdays so it would’ve been impossible for a race caller to call football,” said Hill, who has called the Melbourne Cup since 2017.

“Now the way rounds are spread 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’ve loved being a race caller … I didn’t want to just be a race caller.

“It’s always interesting when you go and do another sport how they (audience) always pin you as ‘the racing guy’ … (it) can be hard to shake because people know me as the racing guy.

“Some of the great callers, Bruce McAvaney, Ray Warren, Peter Donegan, were all race callers who went on to be sports broadcasters, so following in their footsteps in a way.”

His experience calling horse racing has helped the successful foray into football.

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

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