26/05/2024

Picture: Footballaustralia.com.au

In the final part of our series, Simon Hill discusses the past six months and his future, whether that be in Australia or back in his native England.

For football fans across Australia, the name Simon Hill became Synonymous with the game throughout the mid 2000’s and deep into the 2010’s.

From his call of that John Aloisi goal to his lengthy stint at Fox Sports covering the A-League and everything in between, Hill built up an enormous number of admirers.

He became the voice of the A-League and that association continues today, despite Hill not having called an A-League game in an official capacity in over six months.

“A lot of people still connect me with the A-League,” he said

“Every day I get messages about the A-League. ‘Why aren’t you calling?’ ‘What’s going on with this?’

“I’m no longer involved with it officially and yet it’s very difficult for me to be apart from it.

“It’s very difficult. Very, very difficult.”

Hill admits that the last six months have been tough after being thrust back into the workforce in the middle of a global crisis.

His removal from Fox Sports was one that he didn’t see coming but says that it was ultimately not something he considers a surprise.

“It wasn’t a total surprise but obviously when you’re with a company for 14 years as I was, and then suddenly you’re cast out into the workplace in the middle of a pandemic with very little notice,” he began.

“It was a bit of a shock to not be renewed but at the same time, probably not, given the way certain relationships had deteriorated between me and the management.

“Financially I’m okay. I’ve picked up enough work to keep me going and there’s a lot of very interesting projects potentially on the horizon but as things stand, I’m waiting for what comes next.”

Although what comes next is still difficult to ascertain, Hill has continued to produce gripping football content over the course of the last six months, in particular his podcast, Shim, Spider and so much Moore, where he is joined by former Socceroos Zeljko Kalac and Craig Moore.

The podcast takes you through all there is to know in Australian football on a weekly basis and includes interviews with some of the heavy hitters of the Australian football landscape.

He has also made appearances across different online football media channels as a presenter, but says that as far as his future goes, it might not even be in Australia.

“If I’m being brutally honest, if it wasn’t for the pandemic I probably wouldn’t be in Australia,” he admitted.

“A return to the UK, the (COVID) numbers over in Britain at the moment, it would almost be literal suicide to return in it’s current state so I’m staying here for the time being but that could change as and when the pandemic eases.

“The honest answer is the future, well, I don’t know.”

Fans have been crying out for Hill to return to the A-League since his departure and it is something that Hill himself refuses to rule out, but says that if that door is closed then so be it.

“I’d be open to that but whether people want me or not is a different matter,” he said.

“I tend to be a little outspoken and people don’t like that.

“I think that’s a challenge for some people but that’s who I am, I can’t change and probably not going to at the age of 53.

“Certainly if there was an opportunity to return to calling the A-League with whoever it is over the next few months then I’d be open to that but equally if that door is closed then so be it and at some point I’ll probably move on which will mean leaving Australia.”

There is no doubt that if hill is to set up shop back home in the UK, it would be Australia’s loss, given his standing with football supporters across the nation.

Many will no doubt be rooting for his return to the commentary box when the A-League decides on who the broadcasting rights belong to in a few months time, but whether that will be the case remains to be seen.

For now, Simon Hill remains on our shores and that is something we as Australian football fans need to be grateful for.

He is and always has been a voice for the fans because at heart, that’s what Simon Hill is.

A football fan through and through, it’s no wonder he has been able to reach so many people throughout his journey in broadcasting.

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