Andrew Voss: going in boots n all

Commentator Andrew Voss is familiar to most League fans for his match calls and sideline updates. He?s also a regular on the Footy Show and the co-host of Channel Nine?s ?Boots n All? programme.

Andrew took time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed by Leagueunlimited?s Deborah Lang.

DL: The concept of Boots n All, how did it come about and what is your aim?

AV: Boots n All was an idea of mine from 2001. It was originally intended to be nothing more than a rugby league bloopers type show which was only supposed to run 4-6 weeks. However thanks to a great response from the fans the show just evolved into what it is today. The aim is to show a different side to rugby league. Archives, behind the scenes, personalities.

DL: Who's your tip to win the Darts comp?

AV: There will only be individual club winners in the darts as it is a logistics nightmare trying to get players from different clubs to play each other. Newcastle's Timana Tahu is very good.

DL: How did you first get involved with Rugby League? Have you had involvement as a player?

AV: I won't bore you with my under achieving junior rugby league career, other than to say I have been a fan of the game for as long as I can remember, who for some reason started at the age of 8 telling anyone who cared to listen that I would be a rugby league caller one day.

DL: The NRL computer game has been a huge success, has your involvement in it been rewarding?

AV: I'll be honest, I'm not a big video game player so I didn't really know fully what I was getting myself into. It was a fascinating project to be involved with. There are some extremely clever people in this world. I am blown away by the work that was put into the game. To be honest my role was only minor when you compare the hours I put in to the computer programmers.

DL: What is the first game you called?

AV: The first game I ever called in full was at the 1992 sevens tournament between Balmain and St George. It was on Radio 2ue in Sydney. I used to bore people silly with my footy calls though from the age of 8.

DL: The highlight of your involvement in League?

AV: It'll sound corny but I love every game I work on. There's never once been an occasion over the 18 years I've been involved in the media that I haven't looked forward to working at the football. Forced to nominate one game, I would say the 2000 world cup final at Old Trafford in Manchester between Australia and New Zealand.

DL: How do you feel personally when Rugby League is in the papers for the wrong reasons?

AV: I'm a bit tired of the off field stories. I get tired of reporting on them and discussing them. I love talking footy, but it gets hard when everyone from my local newsagent to the bloke in the local garage is asking me which Bulldogs player did this, or wants me to confirm or deny some rumour.

DL: What sort of hole does the passing of Peter Frilingos create?

AV: Peter Frilingos was a very good rugby league reporter with many contacts. He was also an entertaining broadcaster who I learnt a number of things from through working with for seven years. He will be missed.

DL: Most embarrassing moment or call?

AV: The worst feeling is when you call a player wrong, particularly is they've scored a try. Ask any caller, you hate making mistakes.

DL: What is the worst on-field incident you have ever had to call?

AV: To be honest the worst thing I had to call was at the Superleague World Nines in Fiji in 1996. Not being able to see the players due to monsoonal rain. I think the match was Morocco versus Japan. An all time great clash! A farce of a tournament.

DL: Childhood sporting hero?

AV: Almost too many to mention. Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Bob McCarthy, Rod Marsh, Doug Walters.

DL: When comments like having 'delusions of adequacy' are made, does this have any affect on you?

AV: That's one of Ray Hadley's comments. He threatened me when I left 2ue in 1994 (he was my boss at the time) with the line "if you go to television you will disappear down a black hole". He has constantly tried to discredit and embarrass me since and I have never replied in public to his remarks and I am not about to start now. I just try to do my job the best way I can. This year is my tenth in television and I am proud of that because it is something I had never thought I would do.

DL: If there was one thing you could change about Rugby League what would it be?

AV: Second team playing out of Brisbane is a must.

DL: As far as football internet forums go, do you feel that they have a place within the Rugby League for the discussion of issues.

AV: I have no problems with fans forums as they need a place to voice their opinion. Just as long as they deal in the truth. If we at Channel Nine want a reaction to something we've done, or want to tap into public opinion, it's the first place we look.