#37 Ian Hill


Jan 9, 2012
Baulkham Hills
AFL Club
Other Teams
St Kilda, Dragons, Bucks

Former club:perth
2018 U18 STATS
Avg Kicks:10
Avg Marks:4
Avg Hballs:4.3
A second cousin of Fremantle duo Stephen and Brad Hill, the small forward has elite speed and agility, making him very dangerous around goal.
Capable in the air one-on-one and has innate goal sense.
Had an interrupted year due to a shoulder injury but will be sought after since he not only wins his own ball, but applies pressure.

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Jan 9, 2012
Baulkham Hills
AFL Club
Other Teams
St Kilda, Dragons, Bucks
By Emma - More in the link here

Bobby Bringing the Excitement

Emma Quayle

Jan 24, 2019 4:37PM

Ian 'Bobby' Hill is loving his time at the GIANTS.

Now I’m here and I just want to bring some speed, excitement and pressure.​
Ian 'Bobby' Hill

Emma Quayle is an award-winning journalist and draft expert who spent 16 years covering AFL for The Age newspaper before joining the GIANTS’ recruiting team in February, 2017. As one of the industry’s most respected writers and talent spotters, Quayle has a unique perspective on the GIANTS’ recent crop of draftees and takes you inside the thinking of the recruiting team. In the third of her insightful six-part series, Quayle sits down with selection 24, Ian 'Bobby' Hill.

Ian Hill was restless, on the second day of last year’s NAB AFL Draft. He hadn’t slept much at all, the night before. ‘Bobby’ was one of the kids invited to be at the national draft, and he had had to sit there all night watching the teams he thought might call his name out go for other players instead. Now the second round was about to start and he had absolutely no idea where he was going to end up.

"The nerves were kicking in and I was getting a bit worried,” he said. “I was thinking about what the clubs had been saying to me, that I was inconsistent this year and that they hadn’t really seen the best of me and what I would be able to do.

"I was a bit s**tty on the first night, a bit upset. I couldn’t crack a smile. I can remember looking at my mum and not knowing what to say to her. But the next day when we went back I went there with the right mindset. I was just thinking, ‘Whoever picks me, I’ll be lucky to play for them.’ So I just had to sit there and wait, then. I had an open mind and I was still nervous, but I didn’t let it get to me."
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He had no idea what had been going on behind the scenes. For us, the draft being split across two days was a very good thing. It was the same with live pick trading. The first gave us time to stop and think after the first round, to take a look at what we had brought in on the Thursday night and talk about what we wanted and needed to do to bring in the three other players we most wanted.

We met early on Friday morning, in our office across the road from Marvel Stadium. The night before we’d chatted to West Coast, to see if they would consider trading pick 23, the first selection in the second round. We knew they were open to it, but that other clubs were coming for it too. Adelaide, who had pick 24, were another option.

We had a chat that morning about what we had already picked up: three strong, solid, reliable midfield types. We then talked for longer about what Bobby could give us: speed, skill, pressure and a bunch of other tricks.

It was a chat we might not have had, had Adelaide picked Jye Caldwell at pick 8 in the first round. Had that happened, we would probably have chosen Zak Butters with pick 11, meaning we wouldn’t necessarily have wanted to trade up in the second round to bring a second small forward in.

We’d watched Bobby closely all year, and spoken to a lot of people about him. We had noticed his inconsistencies, too, and knew he had been hampered at the start and end of the season by shoulder problem. Even he says now that having starred at the under-16 championships, then again last year as a 17-year-old, he wished the year was over a long time before it actually was. “I just wanted it to hurry up, for the draft to come,” he said. “I just wanted to get my name read out.”

It had felt like a very long wait. Bobby had wanted to play for an AFL team for as long as he can remember. He started playing as a kid in Northam, an hour and a bit north-east of Perth, where his mother, Kate, had a childcare business and his father, Ian senior, flew in and out of the mines to drive trucks. He’s a second cousin of Stephen and Bradley Hill at Fremantle, though he didn’t really get to know them until the last few years. He’s also related to Gerald Ugle, an original GIANTS player who spent three years on the list. Kate has a photo of Bobby wearing an old GIANTS jumper when he was a little kid. “It’s funny,” he said, “how everything can turn out.”

Other things happened less by chance. Bobby went to high school in town and liked it there; the school was connected to a Clontarf Academy, so he had plenty of time to spend on his football. He had a few offers to move to boarding school in Perth, but never felt quite ready for it until the end of Year 10 when Wesley College called.

Last year, his parents, older sister Monique and her baby daughter moved to Perth so they could all live together. But back then he moved into the boarding house. Which he loved, from Monday to Friday. But where he needed a little bit of encouragement to stay, when the weekends came around and there was no footy on.

Small world: Kieren Briggs and Bobby Hill were put in the same hotel room the day before becoming teammates.

“I was a bit scared at first. I thought it would be a lot better for me to play that level of footy, and for my education I also thought it would be good. If I stayed in Northam I might have dropped out in Year 11, started doing an apprenticeship or something like that. So I pretty much knew it would be good to go there, it’s just at first I was worried about the move and I wasn’t really sure it was for me,” Bobby said.

“Coming from the country to a big school was pretty scary for me, and all the teachers and all the boys made me feel really welcome, but I was quiet for the first couple of weeks and after my first month I kept going back home every Saturday. Not because I was missing home, I just didn’t feel like myself there.

“I had a talk with mum, and she said, ‘You might be missing out on something fun there if you keep coming home every single weekend'. So the next week I stayed, and we ended up going on a beach trip with all the boys, and it was a lot of fun. Then footy started, and that was good too. My mum just talked some sense into me, and I got used to it and it was fun. Living with 140 other boys, they start to feel like they’re your brothers. You look after them and they look after you as well.

“Being there, it got me ready for the draft. It was daunting at first. I went home after the draft to see all of my family and everyone was talking to me about moving to Sydney. It started to sink in then – ‘now you have to move’– but then I got here and met everyone and I realised it was just like being back at school again. It’s funny because people have said to me, ‘Will you want to come back home?’ and I just think no way, because every team could have picked me and the GIANTS are the ones that did. I like it here already. I’m in love with the place.”

But back to the draft. The upshot of that Friday morning meeting was that we wanted Bobby, and were willing to give up a bit in order to jump up the order and get him. We were trading for him, effectively, not for pick 24. West Coast ended up giving 23 to Gold Coast, but we knew they weren’t planning to take Bobby. That left the Crows, and trading with them helped us in two ways. It meant we would get Bobby, first of all. But getting Adelaide’s pick meant the Crows wouldn’t be able to use it to bid for our academy player Kieren Briggs, which we thought they might do.

Trading pick 28 and Carlton’s future second round pick to move up four spots meant we were able to get Bobby before anyone else had the chance, then match the Briggs bid with a much later pick. Funnily enough, the AFL had the two boys room together on the night of round one, at a hotel over the road from Marvel Stadium.

It was a relief, for both of them.
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