THERE won’t be a climb up to the top of the grandstand at Lank Bain Sporting Complex this Saturday.
But that doesn’t mean Chuck Murray won’t enjoy calling his 20th Hastings League grand final when Kendall and Comboyne face off.
Murray called his first Hastings League grand final back in 1995 at the ground and remembers vividly what he had to do to get on air.
It required more than a few steps before Occupational Health and Safety issues put an end to that climb many years later.
“I do miss that commentary box on the front edge of the roof of the grandstand,” Murray said.
“It gave us a fantastic view.”
While he will call the action from a little closer to the sideline this weekend, Murray admitted on top of the roof was one of the better places he has called rugby league from.
“While I miss it, at this stage where I’m at now health-wise, unless it was a really good set of steps, I wouldn’t get up there,” he said.
“Anyone that’s ever been up there, the view is almost like you’re in a helicopter above the ground.”
I do miss that commentary box on the front edge of the roof of the grandstand.Chuck Murray
Other than the demolition of the commentary box, Murray admitted not much had changed at the ground over the years.
“Apart from the concrete that’s just been done in front of the grandstand and the bar area, the ground is virtually unchanged in 20 years,” he said.
“The field is exactly the same as it was back then, but I would say the playing surface was in much better condition before the ground was taken over by council.”
Murray said his 20th grand final call would be a special one as he was unsure he would make 30.
“I’ve finally reached 20 and I’ll try and make it to 30, but nothing is guaranteed,” he said.
“The Hastings League is so special because it took a while to get there and at one stage I did not think I would.”
Remarkably, Kendall were also in the first Hastings League grand final he called in 1995.
On that occasion the Blues were no match for the Boardriders, although he expects them to be too strong for Comboyne in 2017.
I’ve finally reached 20 and I’ll try and make it to 30, but nothing is guaranteed.Chuck Murray
“Kendall have been a great club over the years and for much of the past 20 I’ve called footy they’ve been up there for much of that time,” he said.
“They’ve had some lean years and even folded for one or two.
“It’s going to be as good a grand final as any one we’ve ever called.
“Just two weeks ago they fought out an 18-16 result and if it’s anything like that the fans are in for a fantastic day.
“I think Kendall will win in a close one.”
First grade is scheduled to kick off at 3pm at Lank Bain Sporting Complex.
To listen, head to www.footyfocus.org.