The Roar
The Roar


Ranking the best AFL commentators

Bob Murphy programmed the match-day music for his 300th game. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Roar Pro
16th August, 2018
1137 Reads

Most of my exposure to AFL comes through the television. I probably spend at least ten hours per week of my leisure time watching the games, post-match programming and feature shows.

I would like to share with you my feelings on some of the commentators I like that flash before my eyes on the box – I like commentators who have opinions that are strongly and articulately expressed, and a sense of humour helps.

Dermott Brereton
His football reputation was as a brilliant exciting Hawthorn forward in the days when roughing up your opponent and getting square was football law. His stories about his famous feuds often end up with someone lying on the ground. He has a giggling sense of humour and is great value.

Jonathan Brown
You would never guess that he was a robust and aggressive player who to my ear is the patron saint of all half and full forwards. His opinions are expressed in a deep, strong voice that takes no prisoners. He comes from the knock-em-down school of AFL players

Gerard Healy
Every sport needs a voice of reason. He has been the On the Couch chairman as long as I remember. His occasional physiotherapy utterances are utterly bewildering, but I am sure they come from the source. He is so convincing that I can’t help accepting his opinions as they are believable.

David King
I remember him as a North Melbourne ruckman who gave his all and seemed a huge influence in every game he played. As a television personality he was a huge surprise. Articulate, incisive and with a detailed understanding of the fine points of the game.

His arrows and circles all moving around the screen are probably invaluable for coaches and true experts of the game to understand how it is played. Sometimes my eyes glaze and I feel a headache coming on.

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Mark Robinson
He reminds me of Oscar, the shambolic one in The Odd Couple. As a journalist he has very definite opinions, which he often yells at Gerard Whateley (Felix), but he is fascinating to watch. Without Gerard he would lose his way and wander off into the distance; with him he provides a brilliant contrast with a vast and well-expressed knowledge of the AFL.


His passion and concern for Alex Johnson’s misfortune was particularly moving.

Mike Sheahan
In my eyes he is a journalist with great credibility. His history with the AFL is long and storied and his interview shows are classic pieces of examining the human frailties and successes of former AFL personalities. I never fail to enjoy his Open Mike, and I especially revelled in his interview with Mark Jackson when Jacko threw everything at him except the chair he was sitting on.

Bob Murphy
What a find! Who would have thought that a much-loved footballer who failed to play in the grand final because of injury would turn out to be the best new talent on TV, not just in AFL coverage.

His interviews are classic pieces of friendly conversations with well-known celebrities who have some link with AFL teams. Tex Perkins, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Richardson were moving and revealing. He never says a critical word, but you go along with his journey with a smile and understanding. I love this guy’s talent. He’s another Andrew Denton. I rate him.

Paul Roos
I liked Roosy as a player, I liked him as a coach and I love him as an analyst. He is the oracle when it comes to explaining the ins and outs of coaching and playing AFL. There are very few people in that industry who seem to garner universal respect. He is one of them. In the On The Couch episodes the panel all have their say and then seem to ask, “What do you think, Roosy?”.

I actually always understand what he is saying and mostly agree with it all.

Gerard Whateley
I want to be him. He sees and commentates on many sporting events and seems to be an expert in all of them. He is polite with all his interviews and handles Robbo deftly and with humour. I can appreciate and watch anything that he does, and I’m always amazed by his grasp of the issues and his sound and sensitive treatment of them. He’s much better than Felix and is the star of the team.