5 November 2021

Steady rise to the top of Australian football commentary for Canberra's Grace Gill

| Tim Gavel
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Grace Gill and Russ Gibbs

Grace Gill with National Premier League co-commentator Russ Gibbs. Photo: Supplied.

Grace Gill’s entry into the world of televised football came unexpectedly.

Playing for Canberra United in the W-League – since rebranded A-League Women – Grace was injured on the day her side was playing in an ABC televised game.

“I received a last-minute call up to work alongside the match day commentator,” she recalls.

Grace hasn’t missed a beat since then, working for ABC Radio, ABC TV, Fox Sports, Network 10 and streaming platforms Paramount and Stan.

There is also the work Grace has done co-commentating National Premier League games in Canberra alongside Russ Gibbs. This role has provided her with invaluable experience behind the microphone.

It is worth noting that broadcasting is in Grace’s blood, with her mother, Liz McGrath, a highly respected long-term broadcaster and manager at the ABC.

Grace comes across as incredibly articulate and knowledgeable in a world that is often devoid of female experts and commentators.

Grace Gill playing for Canberra Croatia FC

Grace Gill playing for Canberra Croatia FC. Photo: Supplied.

“It’s something I really enjoy,” says Grace. “It’s a way to remain involved in a sport I love, and I like talking about football. I also like being out of my comfort zone so I’m soaking up as much as possible.”

Her ability to relate to what is happening on the field and translate this to the wider audience comes from a lifetime in the game, including eight years with Canberra United – including winning two championships – four matches for the Young Matildas, and an international cap with the Matildas.

She has continued to play for Canberra Croatia FC following her retirement from the A-League Women in 2016, although she remains uncertain about next season.

Grace’s dance card is starting to look crowded when you take into account her full-time job in the Australian Public Service, her position on the board of Capital Football, and expanded broadcasting roles with Network 10, Paramount and Stan.

“With Network 10 and Paramount, we cover all domestic football with the Matildas, Socceroos, A-League Men and A-League Women,” she says. “While on Stan, I am a panelist as part of the coverage of European football.”

Network 10's A-League commentary team of Tara Rushton, Grace Gill, Andy Harper and Tom Sermanni

From left: Network 10’s A-League commentary team of Tara Rushton, Grace Gill, Andy Harper and Tom Sermanni. Photo: Supplied.

Grace’s role as an expert commentator is offering specialist observations and insight, and providing a unique player’s perspective into what is happening on the field.

So does she have an ambition to become a play-by-play commentator?

“I wouldn’t say it’s an immediate ambition,” says Grace. “There are so few women commentating it would be a massive opportunity if it came along. It’s something I’d be open to doing in the future.”

Her emergence as a broadcaster hasn’t happened overnight. There has been plenty of hard work to get to this point, which is reflected in her commentary.

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