Fife Flyers: two years behind mic for Laura Duff as first female commentator in EIHL

When Laura Duff swapped her seat in the stands for a spot in the commentary booth, she became the first female webcast commentator in the Elite League. Two years on, she still is.
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Ice hockey has been part of her life since the age of 11, and she now fronts the club’s online webcasts with co-commentator, former player Allan ‘Bean’ Anderson,

The view from the box is as good as it gets in the rink, but it was one she initially turned down after coming to the attention of the club after building a solid audience on Twitter for her live updates on match nights.

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“I’d been asked before and turned it down - not my kind of thing,” she said. “The webcast had Bean with guys like Andy Samuel and Kenny Horne jumping in, but didn’t have someone doing them every week. I’ve been watching ice hockey since I was 11 - that’s 25 years ago! - and Bean approached me about getting involved.”Laura made her debut commentating on a game against Nottingham Panthers on January 15, 2022 and admitted: “I was really nervous and very anxious - I’d never done this before. I was shaking sitting in the box!”

Laura Duff has been of the webcast team. Inset: With co-commentator Allan 'Bean' Anderson (Pics: Derek Young)Laura Duff has been of the webcast team. Inset: With co-commentator Allan 'Bean' Anderson (Pics: Derek Young)
Laura Duff has been of the webcast team. Inset: With co-commentator Allan 'Bean' Anderson (Pics: Derek Young)

Ove then last two seasons she has covered a host of games rinkside, broadcasting to an audience which is a mix of locals watching from home, fans down south, and also players’ families across in North America and Scandinavia.

“Being the only female commentator in the league is something I am proud of,” she said;. “I love the club and had some amazing memories here as a fan. It is nice to be part of it now. There’s certainly a gap for women who know their stuff - and they do. There are also a lot of women involved in hockey who put in so much work behind the scenes which people perhaps don’t see it - they are putting in huge time on a voluntary basis.”

Laura leads the play by play commentary with Bean adding his own view on key moments.

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“I know the majority watching are from visiting teams and abroad, so at first I was I was self conscious about using Fife slang, but we like to keep it light hearted. You’ll never be everyone’s cup of tea, so I take that on the chin. You get good comments next to negative ones slagging off Fife and the organisation, but we are proud of the team and everything off the ice has improved so much over the years, It is a positive club.”

The EIHL commenters are a tight knit bunch too with a WhatsApp group to help out with stats, nuggets of info and how to pronounce players names - “it’s a big hockey family in that respect.”

Laura added: “You get used to seeing the game from the same spot in the rink while chatting to pals, so it is very different in the commentary box, You try to stay unbiased but I love this team and want it to win and be successful