MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Host Bruce McAvaney addresses the crowd during the 2016 Brownlow Medal Count at the Crown Palladium on September 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Commentating great Bruce McAvaney has spoken about his experience commentating last Thursday’s Carlton-Richmond season opener at an empty MCG.

The Channel 7 lead commentator stated it was still an honor to be there calling the match, but it felt hollow without the fans.

Speaking on SEN’s Whateley, McAvaney opened up to host Gerald Whateley on the unique situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

“There was still an enthusiasm and still a challenge of the job and the preparation and being there, which is always a joy, but there was an emptiness,” McAvaney said.

“You can’t manufacture and fabricate no crowd and 90,000 passionate fans and a roar that gives us all a tingle up our backs.

“It was a mixed bag and it was confusing, all of us confronted with something we have never faced before; I enjoyed the football on the weekend, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I normally do, I’m being absolutely honest with you.

“I realised at the end of the match I called and the matches I watched how important our fans are to have the absolute complete package of the sport is.

“It’s the most magnificent sport. I think it’s the best ball game in the world, but it needs a crowd.

“It was a very different feeling. I felt, in a personal sense, that it was a privilege to be on that ground on that night, but it was one I wouldn’t wish for.”