'What a legend': AFL world farewells broadcasting great Dennis Cometti

·Sports Reporter
·6-min read
Dennis Cometti has declared last weekend's AFL grand final to be the final game he will call in a broadcast career that has spanned over 40 years. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
Dennis Cometti has declared last weekend's AFL grand final to be the final game he will call in a broadcast career that has spanned over 40 years. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Commentary legend Dennis Cometti has confirmed he won't be coming out of retirement for any one-off calls following last weekend's AFL grand final. 

The 72-year-old's call of Melbourne's drought-breaking premiership over the Western Bulldogs will be the final one on his glittering showreel, after a broadcasting career that spanned more than 30 years.

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Having elected to step back from television commentary duties in 2016, Cometti maintained a presence on radio in Perth, before finally deciding the time was right to step back.

Cometti opened up about his career in number of radio interviews on Monday to discuss the grand final and his final AFL call.

Speaking on Triple M‘s Basil, Xav & Jenna, Cometti said there was 'no turning back' and said it had been a difficult decision to walk away from his career.

“It‘s finished … there’s no turning back. There is emotion attached,” he said.

“After it‘s finished and you’re walking out the door, you’ll think ’well, it’s been good’, you know. If it’s a good game, all the better.”

In a neat twist of fate, Cometti revealed he had supported the Demons since he was a youngster - making their victory, which snapped a premiership drought dating back to 1964, all the more sweet.

Cometti first joined the airwaves as a top 40 DJ in Perth back in 1968, and in 1970 made his first foray into sports commentary.

His call of an interstate match between Victoria and WA clearly went well, as in 1971 he switched to calling games full-time.

Cricket was his game in his early years of commentary, allowing him to continue on in his other role as coach of WAFL side West Perth.

Eventually, Cometti's son Mark would join his commentary team as his father's stats man.

Though footy fans were saddened by the news of Cometti's retirement, many also praised him for a stellar call of Saturday's AFL decider.

Cometti raises prospect of AFL grand final venue rotating between cities

In a second interview on Monday, this time with ABC Radio Perth, Cometti said it had been a thrill to see the AFL grand final held in his hometown.

Cometti said the state had 'stolen the show' and admitted that while he was an MCG traditionalist, the previous two seasons had demonstrated the value of holding the AFL decided away from Melbourne.

“Everything about the day was great,” he said. 

“Melbourne is the Grand Final venue year by year by year by year so there’s nothing much new. 

"The acts may vary but the atmosphere is always the same. It’s full but depending on which clubs are there, there may be more black and white, or more red and black. 

"But I thought it was different because it was unique, we knew that going in, and it was marvellous.

“I am still a traditionalist — I think the MCG is probably the place for the Grand Final but, I said a few times over the weekend, it would be hard to waste what we’ve achieved here. 

The Demons celebrate after defeating the Western Bulldogs to win the 2021 AFL grand final.
The Demons celebrate after defeating the Western Bulldogs to win the 2021 AFL grand final. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"I could see the situation, and I’m not sure the AFL would like me saying this, but maybe a Grand Final in Perth or Adelaide once in a decade or alternating once in a decade and the rest at the MCG. But I think the people in South Australia and Western Australia would like to see that.”

Though Melbourne have had to celebrate their drought-breaking win far away from their locked-down home city, the celebrations have nonetheless been wild in Perth.

Demons captain Max Gawn and his bleary-eyed charges continued the celebrations on Sunday as more than 1000 fans turned Perth's Forrest Place into a sea of red and blue.

A morning thunderstorm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the Demons faithful, who gathered early to watch a replay of Saturday's 74-point Optus Stadium triumph on the big screen and erupted at key moments like they were seeing it all for the first time.

With AAP

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