Title: Tristan MacManus: From Football Fan to A-League Sideline Reporter
Tristan MacManus, co-host of Studio 10 and former judge on Dancing With the Stars, has landed his dream job as a sideline reporter for the A-League. But how did he go from being a football fan to rubbing shoulders with the stars of the game?
It all started with a casual chat at a football game. MacManus, a regular attendee of Sydney FC women’s matches, began recognizing familiar faces from Channel Ten and Paramount. His enthusiasm for and knowledge of the game caught their attention.
“I used to watch my dad play in the Sunday league,” MacManus recalls. “My friends and I would go out in the morning with only a football and come back for dinner. Our estate would play against other estates, we’d play against other schools, and we’d play for our clubs on the weekend.”
MacManus’s passion for football led him to suggest story ideas for Studio 10 and offer his services for the Australian pre-season tour of his beloved Leeds United. Impressed by his energy and fan perspective, Ten gave him the role of sideline reporter.
“As a fan, I knew exactly what questions I wanted to ask,” he says. “I guess my energy came through.”
Now, as the 2023-24 A-League men’s season kicks off, MacManus is reprising his sideline reporting role. He understands the responsibility of being a sideline reporter and aims to provide viewers with a unique perspective.
“Regardless of which code or sport you’re into, when you’re watching at home, you have a million questions for the players…and there’s a responsibility, as a sideline reporter, that I’d never really thought about before. While you see what’s going on, you might not be watching what everyone else is watching on the TV at home, so you have to find the right perspective.”
MacManus believes that the A-League has untapped potential and wants to change the perception of the sport in Australia. He emphasizes the need to embrace the stars in our own backyard and showcase the characters in the A-League.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got superstars on our doorstep here, and we need to embrace that. And we need to find ways of doing that without someone going, ‘Oh, soccer is rubbish.’ We’re not trying to take your love away from other sports or make you pick a favorite. We’re just trying to show you what we love about this sport in Australia.”
To attract more fans, MacManus suggests initiatives like free A-League Women’s season tickets for under-16s. He believes that by providing access and highlighting the diverse talents within the sport, more people will be drawn to it.
“The takeaway from this year’s World Cup is that the Matildas aren’t just Sam Kerr. If we want to build a team sport, we have to stop talking about individuals only. I think the clubs, the fans, and the media all need to work together.”
As the A-League Men’s season commences, MacManus is excited to bring his passion for football to viewers across the country. Tune in to 10 Bold and Paramount+ to catch all the action.