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Hill Making Footy an Art

Ian 'Bobby' Hill - a proud Whadjuk Ballardong Noongar - speaks about his involvement in the GIANTS' Sir Doug Nicholls round celebrations.
Aboriginal art is something I really like doing and the storyline came to me pretty quickly.
Bobby Hill

GIANTS forward Ian 'Bobby' Hill hasn't broken into his team's powerful senior line-up so far in his debut season, but found a way to ensure he'll play a big part in the club's celebration of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Hill, one of three indigenous players on the GIANTS' AFL list along with Zac Williams and Jeremy Finlayson, used his artistic skills to hand-paint a football for Finlayson to present to Melbourne before last week's clash at the MCG. 

On Saturday afternoon at GIANTS Stadium, after he's finished his NEAFL duties, Hill will meet with a Gold Coast representative before the first bounce to exchange another handmade gift of boomerangs.

The 19-year-old is an avid artist after designing the indigenous jumpers for Wesley College, his secondary school in Perth, and said the footy he painted represented the GIANTS' indigenous players' journey to the MCG to meet with the Demons' indigenous stars.

Williams was injured so missed the round 10 match, while Hill played reserves in Queensland the day before, which left Finlayson with the ceremonial duties.

"I was happy to do it when (GIANTS head of development) Brett Hand asked me, it was a real honor," Hill said.

"Aboriginal art is something I really like doing and the storyline came to me pretty quickly.

"I knew what I wanted to do and I'm really happy with it, and I'm glad everybody else likes it as well."

Blessed with lightning speed, Hill also used Saturday's NEAFL clash with Brisbane to show off his own version of an indigenous goal celebration.

 

Hill said he came up with his moves with his schoolmates at Wesley last year.

"I messaged a couple of the boys and told them if I kicked a goal on the weekend I'd do it for them," he said.

"I put it on Instagram to let the family see it and sent it to a few of the boys as well.

"They were pretty happy with it."

Hill spent most of his first pre-season in the AFL working his way back to full fitness from a shoulder injury, but still managed to excite the GIANTS in the limited match simulation he participated in.

He's now played the past five games in the NEAFL and the cousin of Fremantle stars Stephen and Bradley Hill has continued to impress the GIANTS' coaching staff with his forward pressure, while kicking 7.9 for the season.

Listed at 175cm tall and weighing just 66kg, Hill needs time to develop, but if he shows enough at NEAFL level, there's little doubt senior coach Leon Cameron could be tempted to unleash him at the highest level during the second half of the year. 

"I'm pretty happy with my form, I'm running out full games and playing the game time I'm wanting," Hill said. 

"I just want to keep playing good footy and hopefully I can get a game on the big stage.

"Leon tells me to keep playing the footy they brought me in for. If I'm bringing my tackle pressure, kicking goals, playing my role and doing all the little things, I'll get my opportunity."