Lethal’s log­i­cal call­ing

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - COLIN VICK­ERY

WHEN Leigh Matthews an­nounced his shock re­tire­ment as Bris­bane Lions coach ear­lier this month, he not only threw the footy coach­ing world into a spin, he also be­came a wild­card in the footy com­men­tat­ing stakes.

The 56-year-old has slipped ef­fort­lessly into Chan­nel 7’s AFL com­men­tary team for the 2008 fi­nals se­ries and would have to be a con­tender for any va­cant spe­cial­ist po­si­tions next year.

Chan­nel 10 has lost Michael Voss and won’t make a de­ci­sion on his re­place­ment un­til af­ter the grand fi­nal. Fox Sports doesn’t have any im­me­di­ate va­can­cies. David Sch­warz has at times strug­gled at Seven, but the net­work ap­pears cer­tain to give him time to im­prove his call­ing skills. It is Seven, though, that seems the most ob­vi­ous long-term des­ti­na­tion for Matthews.

‘‘Chan­nel Seven has had a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship with Leigh Matthews for many years,’’ Seven Mel­bourne gen­eral man­ager Lewis Martin says. ‘‘We re­gard him as an AFL leg­end, su­per coach and a great TV com­men­ta­tor. He’s been a great friend of Seven and 2009 is an open book.’’

Matthews is clearly en­joy­ing be­ing back be­hind the mi­cro­phone and says it is only nat­u­ral for him to in­clude me­dia work in his post-Lions life.

‘‘Talk­ing or writ­ing about foot­ball is the log­i­cal thing for those of us who have just fin­ished be­ing in­volved at club level,’’ he says.

‘‘I en­joy go­ing to the footy and I en­joy talk­ing about footy. It’s been the ma­jor thing dur­ing my adult life.’’

This week­end’s grand fi­nal is Matthews’ main fo­cus for now. He reck­ons he has been to ev­ery grand fi­nal since 1971 as ei­ther player, coach or me­dia com­men­ta­tor. Matthews called for Seven in the years be­tween his Colling­wood and Bris­bane coach­ing stints and says lit­tle has changed in the in­ter­ven­ing decade.

‘‘What I’m try­ing to do is point out things that aren’t ob­vi­ous to peo­ple who are watch­ing the game,’’ he says. ‘‘I hate com­men­ta­tors who talk in jar­gon be­cause it makes them feel like they know what they’re talk­ing about. You’ve got to talk in everyday lan­guage.’’

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