INTERVIEW | Why GERARD WHATELEY loves Melbourne, Footy and working with ROBBO
Fox Footy’s Gerard Whateley is a busy man. And he’s about to get a lot busier when the 2019 AFL season kicks off this Thursday night at the MCG.
In footy mad Melbourne, he’ll be dividing his time between radio commitments in Melbourne on SEN 1116 and as co-host of AFL360; a nightly footy show that airs Monday to Thursday on Fox Footy.
“Footy commands the town. I’m not alone in this, you give your life over to the footy season once it starts.
I’m used to it by now and I like the flow from morning radio to evening TV and back to morning radio to evening TV. It actually makes a lot of sense.”
Now in it’s 9th year, AFL360 takes a ‘news’ approach to footy, letting the day’s events shape the nightly narrative; from the lows of a loss or injury to the highs of a win.
Whateley says he and co-host Mark ‘Robbo’ Robinson work hard to keep things ‘fresh’ and rarely interact before they go to air.
“Robbo writes every day for The Herald-Sun. I talk every day on SEN. We then come together and challenge each other’s ideas and test the arguments that have been made.
We stay away from each other when we’re not on-air. We set it up so Robbo arrives late, I peek over his shoulder for 90 seconds in make up and say ‘this is what we’ve got and I’ll see you downstairs’
We legitimately curtail as much conversation as we can off-air because that ‘first’ conversation is always the best conversation. The joke is never as good the second time around.”
A feature of the show since its inception has been it’s nightly cast of experts from coaches to former players including the ‘recently retired’ Bob Murphy and Nick Reiwoldt and legends of the game; Mark McLure, David King, Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton.
In 2019, AFL 360 will also welcome Collingwood young gun Adam Treloar to the ‘Players Night’ team alongside Tiger Jack Riewoldt and Demon Jordan Lewis.
“Those differing voices offer differing experiences. They’re able to relate from their days to what’s happening right now in the game today. They’re unique insights into the topics that are running right through the week.
And the two of us get as much out of it as anyone does watching. We love those conversations.”
With the smell of liniment hanging in the air, Whateley says there’s no better place to be than in Melbourne during the footy season.
“In Melbourne, there’s footy season and there’s non-footy season! Melbourne never feels more like Melbourne than when the footy is going.
The passions of the town and the discussions where one minute we’re all happy and the next we’re all miserable killjoys, it’s all happening in the footy.
To live that and to tap into that, all day every day, that’s the dream. I have the good fortune to fuse my work and passion.”