FOOTBALL commentator Gerard Auld was hooked after calling his first Hampden league grand final for 3WAY FM.
He was behind the microphone in 2003 when a Jason Mifsud-inspired Koroit came from nowhere to beat Camperdown in one of the most famous deciders in history.
“My recollection was in the commentary box everyone thought at half-time we may as well go home, it was the end of the game,” he said.
“At half-time I heard Mifsud in the rooms and I heard him out on the ground at three-quarter-time and the hair stood up on the back of my neck.
“I still recall saying I wanted to pull on the jumper and play that afternoon. It was one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve ever heard.”
Auld, whose son Nathan played for the Saints that memorable day, said he felt honoured to record history through the microphone.
He will call his 250th HFNL match when Koroit takes on Warrnambool in the 2013 grand final at Reid Oval tomorrow.
His co-caller, station stalwart Darryl Agnew, has notched up more than 300 matches since 3WAY began broadcasting the HFNL in 2000.
Together, they have watched more HFNL football in the past decade than any other fan, maintaining their weekly ritual for the love of the game.
Their efforts won 3WAY the best game-day coverage accolade at the 2009 Victorian Country Football League media awards.
Auld said his 11 years behind the microphone had been “a real privilege”.
“The whole thing with 3WAY — I’m very humbled to be able to do what we’ve done,” Auld said.
“We’ve met some fantastic people and had some great interviews.
“We interviewed (Ron) Barassi down at Camperdown one day, (Peter) ‘Crackers’ Keenan at Koroit. There have been other league footballers.”
Auld said he had used grand final week to reflect on his commentary career.
He said football had become more “sterilised” over the years and the HFNL didn’t attract the same calibre of footballer it once did.
But he believed the addition of Hamilton Kangaroos and Portland meant the league had a bright future.
“Certainly what’s happened with the expanded league, that’s been a real plus,” he said.
As for what makes for a good broadcast, Auld said listeners wanted “interesting” interviews with a range of people.
His game commentary uses a few radio truths which will hold any caller in good stead.
“What they want is for me to tell them what the score is, where the ball is and who’s got it,” he said.
“We’re not there to be holding everyone’s attention for the whole afternoon.”
Agnew and Auld will be live from Reid Oval from 12.30pm tomorrow, on the 103.7FM frequency.
Outgoing HFNL president Bob Guiney, umpire Casey O’Keefe and Cobden defender Paul Hinkley are among their guests during tomorrow’s coverage.