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Recruiting coup lands a coach, three captains and a Coleman medalist

October 27, 2011

SEVEN is delighted to announce that MICHAEL MALTHOUSE, BRIAN TAYLOR, LUKE DARCY, CAMERON LING, and BRETT KIRK will join its AFL broadcast commentary team from next year. Together they are five of the biggest names in football ­ and theyre coming to the home of football at Channel 7.

MICHAEL MALTHOUSE: A triple premiership coach and an icon of AFL football.

CAMERON LING: A triple premiership player who held the cup aloft as Geelong captain in 2011.

BRIAN TAYLOR: A boisterous Coleman medalist and one of the kings of football commentary.

LUKE DARCY: A champion Bulldogs ruckman and AFLPA MVP winner.

BRETT KIRK: The revered Swans captain and premiership player with a unique perspective on life.

They join what is already regarded as the pre-eminent stable of match-day AFL broadcasters in the country, led by DENNIS COMETTI, BRUCE MCAVANEY, LEIGH MATTHEWS, TIM WATSON, TOM HARLEY and MATTHEW RICHARDSON.

In addition, Seven can also announce that AFL Game Day host HAMISH MCLACHLAN and Channel 7 Perth sports presenter BASIL ZEMPILAS will enjoy expanded roles as match commentators. Collectively its a line-up that represents the most decorated, revered and popular figures in AFL football today. In all Sevens commentary team has won 21 premierships, 17 best-and-fairest awards and played or coached in 3315 games.

And footy fans wont have to pay a cent to enjoy their unrivalled commentary and analysis as Seven steps up to become the sole free-to-air broadcaster of AFL football next year.

Under the 2012-2016 AFL broadcast agreement, Seven will show four games every weekend during the homeand-away season, as well as every final and the Brownlow Medal. The AFL Grand Final will also be shown exclusively live on Seven. The Managing Director of Channel 7 Melbourne, LEWIS MARTIN, said: "This is the start of a new era for AFL on Seven and were tremendously excited that theyve accepted our invitation to come onboard. We reckon weve got the best AFL commentary team in the business, some giants of the game, and these new additions only make us stronger. Theyre astute, theyre passionate, theyre connected to the game, and theyll give viewers an insight in the footy they wont find anywhere else." Sevens Head of Sport, SAUL SHTEIN, said: "When I look at the names on this list, I feel privileged to be a member of the Seven Sport team. It includes some of the greatest players, coaches, captains and callers of all time. Their success, on the field or in the commentary booth, speaks for itself, but it is also their personalities which will provide plenty of entertainment. It is with great anticipation and excitement here at Seven that we look forward to season 2012. We just love the footy." BIOGRAPHIES


Mick Malthouse is the doyen of AFL coaching.

In just his second year as a senior coach, in 1985, Malthouse took the Bulldogs to the finals and was awarded the Players Association Coach of the Year. But it was at West Coast and Collingwood that he earned his reputation as the premier coach in AFL football. During 10 years at West Coast he won two flags ­ including the first in Eagles history ­ and the club never missed the finals. And in a dozen years at Collingwood he added a third premiership, with grand final appearances in three other seasons, including this year.

After guest appearances on AFL Game Day and Sunday Football this year, Malthouse joins Seven as an expert commentator. He will also write a weekly column for The West Australian newspaper, and a weekly blog. Mick Malthouse said: "To me Channel Seven is synonymous with the history of VFL/AFL football. And throughout its history Seven has also been very progressive in the way it brings the game to viewers. So I feel privileged to join the team and become a part of that history. "I cant wait to get started, to be honest. I think I understand the idiosyncrasies of why teams win and lose, Im clinical in analysing the game, but now Ill get to do it without worrying about the result. And in many respects Ill have a clearer view because Ill be impartial.

"I reckon Ill also enjoy the game again, too. As a coach you dont necessarily enjoy it. Theres so much emotion invested in the result but the best coaches only have a 60-40 win-loss record. Plus now Ill get to ask questions about the game rather than being the one who answers them. Im really looking forward to that." Career stats

Playing Clubs: St Kilda, Richmond Debut: 1972 Games: 174 (St Kilda 53, Richmond 121) Goals: 15 Premierships: 1980 (Richmond)

Coaching Clubs: Footscray, West Coast, Collingwood Debut: 1984 Games: 664 Premierships: 1992, 1994, 2010 All-Australian coach 1991, 2010

BRIAN TAYLOR THE ever-popular Brian Taylor is renowned for his rousing and colourful commentary and hes sure to be a hit with Sevens viewers. Universally known as ,,BT, Taylor began his career at Richmond before moving to Collingwood where the full forward kicked 100 goals in 1986 to win the Coleman Medal.

BT retired in 1990, and it was a commentary stint with a community radio station in WA the next year that launched him into a career behind the microphone, on radio and TV. A former plumber and ardent home tradesman, BT is passionate about footy, and just as passionate about calling the action for footy fans around the country. Brian Taylor said: "Calling footy is the next best thing to playing the game. Its the biggest buzz you can get outside of pulling on the boots. I absolutely love it. And its always been my dream to call the footy on free-to-air TV, because you touch the most people," Taylor says. "So when the opportunity came along to join Channel 7, I jumped at it. Sevens the home of footy, theyre the number one network, and theyve got the best team of commentators. Theres nowhere else Id rather be."

Career stats Clubs: Richmond, Collingwood Debut: 1980 Games: 140 (Richmond 43 Collingwood 97) Goals: 527 (Richmond 156 Collingwood 371) 1986 Coleman Medal


THE respected former Western Bulldogs star is regarded as one of the most successful ruck-forwards of the modern era. Mobile and skillful for a big man, Darcy won the Bulldogs best and fairest ­ the Charles Sutton medal ­ in 2001, and was also awarded the venerated Leigh Matthews Trophy (alongside Michael Voss) as the AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player in 2002. He would also win the clubs goal-kicking title in 2004, before repeated serious knee injuries brought his career to a close at the end of the 2007 season.

A member of the AFL Rules Committee and a father-of-four, Darcy has carved out a burgeoning career as a radio and TV personality since he hung up the boots. Luke Darcy said: "Im genuinely excited to be part of an outstanding broadcast team at Channel 7 over the next five years. The opportunity to work on Sevens coverage of AFL football alongside some of the best sports broadcasters in the country is something that I am very much looking forward to." Career stats Clubs: Footscray/Western Bulldogs Debut: 1994 Games: 226 Goals: 183 Captain: 2005, 2006


IT is barely a month since Cameron Ling was presented with the 2011 premiership cup as the captain of Geelong. Affectionately dubbed ,,The Mayor, Ling is Geelong born and bred and was one of the most respected and beloved players in the game, with three flags to his name. A full-forward as a junior, the flame-haired Ling turned himself into the competitions best tagger. He won the Carji Greeves Medal in 2004 as the Cats best and fairest, and was All-Australian in 2007.

Intelligent, articulate and upbeat, Ling proved to be a natural on TV during a number of guest appearances with Seven this year, on AFL Game Day and Friday Night Footy.

Cameron Ling said: "I had a taste of working with Seven earlier this year and I loved every minute of it. So it was a pretty easy decision to join the team permanently. "The most important thing for me is working with good people, and thats what Ill have the opportunity to do. Its the perfect result in a lot of ways. Ive gone out on a high, winning the flag, and now I get to stay involved in football through Channel 7. Im really looking forward to it." Career stats Clubs: Geelong Debut: 2000 Games: 246 Goals: 139 Premierships: 2007, 2009, 2011 Captain: 2010, 2011

BRETT KIRK FOR many years Brett Kirk was the heart and soul of ,,The Bloods, as he so often called his beloved Sydney Swans. Originally a rookie who struggled to earn a regular game, Kirks enormous commitment and passion for the game, combined with extraordinary leadership skills, cemented his place as one of the Swans greats. A ferocious tackler and tireless worker in the midfield, Kirk earned the respect of the football world as well as two best and fairest awards ­ including in 2005, when he was co-captain in a Swans premiership year. Kirk was also selected in the All-Australian team in 2004 and retired in 2010 as one of the lynchpins of a successful period for Sydney. On joining Seven Brett Kirk said: "I love footy. Its been such an adventure, its given me so much in my life, and now I get to go on a new adventure. As a commentator Ill stay connected to the game, watching matches, talking to players and coaches, and working at the coalface. And it takes me out of my comfort zone too. I cant wait."

Career stats Clubs: Sydney Debut: 1999 Games: 241 Goals: 96 Premierships: 2005 Co-captain: 2005-2010


Basil Zempilas is an acclaimed TV host, reporter and commentator, having covered AFL in Perth for almost 18 years as well as calling at five Olympic Games ­ including, most famously, Steven Bradburys ,,Last Man Standing Winter Olympics victory.

Zempilas is the Seven News Perth sports presenter and provides AFL commentary on 1116 SEN into Melbourne as well as co-hosting the "Lisa, Baz & Sam" breakfast show on Perth's 92.9FM.He has also worked on the Australian open, multiple Commonwealth Games and on two AFL International Rules series against Ireland. Basil played league football for West Perth in the WAFL between 1990 - 1994.

Basil Zempilas said: "I've been a Seven man for 18 years so I'm thrilled to get an opportunity to join the AFL broadcast team. It's a dream come true. And what a way to start ­ alongside three former AFL captains and one of the all-time legends of AFL coaching. I'm honoured to be one of Mick's picks off the rookie list".


Hamish McLachlan is one of the rising stars of sports broadcasting. For the past four years he has hosted Sevens AFL Game Day, interviewing the AFLs elite, covering all the latest news and issues and celebrating the game alongside stars such as Nick Riewoldt, Lance Franklin and Adam Cooney. McLachlan has also hosted Sevens coverage of the Australian Open tennis and Davis Cup and has been a presenter at Sevens Melbourne Cup Carnival coverage. Hamish McLachlan said: "To be a part of Sevens on-air team that brings this wonderful game into living rooms around the country is an extraordinary privilege. The Seven team is like a football club in itself and to be a part of it ­ with such a history in the game ­ is an honour. "I grew up watching the VFL on the couch with my brothers after we had spent the afternoons kicking the footy around the paddocks at home. To be given the chance to call footy from the best seat in the house alongside those that have been a part of shaping the games history is a boyhood dream. I am very thankful. It's the best "job" in the country."


For more information, please contact: Channel Seven Publicity Greg Smith [email protected] Ph: 0438 777 164


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