In something of a welcome chance this year, Sir Doug Nicholls Round is being spread over Rounds 10 & 11, I assume to give all the teams a chance to wear their designs at home & away.
And the kiddies of today may not know who Sir Doug is/was- Run out of Carlton because of what could be best described as racism, he became a VFA star at Northcote, made it to Fitzroy and played alongside Haydn Bunton Snr, all despite being the second shortest player in league history- A mere 157cm.
Aside from that, he was a Pastor and a social worker for his people, the first (And so far only) Indigenous person to be the Governor of a State (South Australia), the only Indigenous person to have been knighted, and his greatest honour was being crowned the 1973 King of Moomba.
Sydney Swans vs Collingwood @ The SCG, 7:50pm AEST
Sydney fielded their least experienced team to win a game in 25 years against the Roos, and they’ve copped another whammy, as Heath ‘Reg’ Grundy announced he was retiring on Wednesday.
As a mark of respect to him, I’ll be putting my Reg Grundies out the front.
It does seem somewhat ironic that the Magpies’ guernsey was designed by Trav Varcoe’s sister-in-law Lea-Anne Miller, and yet Trav won’t be out there to wear it, after copping a one-game ban for hitting Ed Phillips last week.
If only Michael Christian could have found it in his heart to let another Geelong Premiership Player off for a head high hit.
Then again, Buddy did copious hours of modelling in that Swans guernsey, and he won’t be playing, yet again…
Sydney’s design by Cheryl Davison is the same as last year, and tells a dreamtime story of a “beautiful white swan that was attacked by fellow swans until it was bloodied and left without feathers… A black crow came to the rescue of the swan, tended to its wounds and gave it some of its own black feathers to ensure it wasn’t cold”.
It’s a metaphor for Sydney after they lost the COLA.
Back on that Collingwood design, the inner circle on the front “Represents the players, united as one entity… The dots around the players represent the families, staff and those connected and supporting the team day to day.”
“Much the same as a traditional camp, the outer circle and dots represent people coming together from different players within the Collingwood community, including our fans and supporters”.
Either way, ISC are winners of this one.
The Maggies’ record in Sydney is one the great paradoxes, as they’ve won once at the SCG since 2000, yet their record in Sydney since then is 11-6… once you include all those games where they beat up the Swans at the Olympic Stadium.
Hawthorn vs Port Adelaide @ UTas Stadium, 1:45pm AEST
I find it funny that Hawthorn traded Ryan Burton to Port for Chad Wingard, and yet there’s a good chance neither of them are going to be playing on Saturday.
Fortunately, the Hawks still have two ex-Port players in the team to fill that hole- Jarman Impey and Shaun Burgoyne, who moves into the Top 10 on the all-time games list (364).
Coincidentally, the Hawks & Power played each other last year in Launceston during the Sir Doug Round, and all I remember from it was that the skill level was so awful, that the only talking point ended up being that the umpires paid a record 11 50m penalties during the game.
Now just because players blatantly infringe on the rules, doesn’t mean that they should be punished by the umpires.
The Hawks’ design was also used last year, and is designed by Cyril Rioli’s aunty Jennifer ‘Lulu’ Coombes, and features aspects of Tiwi Island culture, namely the pukumani poles (cultural poles that are placed around the graves of the deceased in order to protect the passed from evil spirits) in place of the stripes, and there’s also circular depictions of a Kulama Yam Ceremony on the back.
The 2019 updates include a recognition of Cyril’s career on the inside, and the back now carries the Tiwi phrase “Ngawa Puranji Yiloga”, which translates to “We love our footy”.
After watching the Hawks through 9 rounds, I can say that’s a big fat lie.
At the bottom, there’s also a list of Indigenous players to appear on the Hawks list… Everyone from Cyril Collard, to Willie Rioli’s dad, Willie Snr, and the present day with the likes of Chance Bateman, Carl Peterson and Jarman Impey.
Port have a design by midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper, and the AFL website has SPP saying “On the left of the guernsey are the 16 indigenous players and staff that we have at Port Adelaide, I think the most in the AFL, which is something we are very proud of.”
“On the heart we have the 46 players – us boys, the brothers, on the heart, one heart. The bottom left circle represents Alberton Oval, our heartland, where all players and staff come together to support our dream of playing AFL”.
With Big Boy on the sidelines with the latest injury buzzword, ‘ankle syndesmosis’, this should be an absolute poo fight.
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium, 2:10pm AEST
The annual game between Victorian footy’s mightiest minnows.
The Dogs and Roos have produced some really entertaining finishes of late- the last 4 games have all been decided by fewer than 7 points, (The first 3 by under a goal), and the Dogs’ win in Round 21 last year from 28 points down torpedoed North’s finals chances and sent them a long downward spiral that hasn’t stopped.
The Dog’s design by Nathan Patterson is inspired by the story of former Dog Brett Goodes, through the themes of family, culture and club.
Family is the centrepiece, and it is represented by Brett sitting at a campfire with his brothers Jake and Adam, and his mother Lisa, while the Culture is also very visible through the Adnyamathanha people, represented in the artwork by the sun rising on Akurra (giant water snake) moving and shaping the Ranges around him.
I find that North’s design by Mok artist Lorraine Kabbindi White is aesthetically pleasing- It fits in nicely with the stripes.
Featured on the Roos’ guernsey are totems for the club’s Indigenous players- The Honey Ant for Jed Anderson, the Goanna for Paul Ahern, the Turtle for Jy Simpkin, and Water for Kyron Hayden.
Tarryn Thomas was a bit stiff to miss out.
The Totem design also features the Rainbow Serpent or Ngalyod, a powerful being that originated from beneath the earth and created hige ridges, mountains and gorges, pushing its way towards the surface of the land.
When I think of North’s Indigenous talents, obviously Barry Cable writes himself, but that successful Roos team from the ’90s also had several talents- Byron Pickett, Shannon Motlop snuck into the ’99 premiership team, and the aerial genius Winston Abraham.
Adelaide vs West Coast Eagles @ The Adelaide Oval, 4:10pm ACST
There’s only one reason any of us will be watching the game- To find out in which quarter Eddie Betts will kick his trademark Indigenous Round Goal of the Year.
Think about it, Eddie could kick Goal of the Year every year if he bothered, just like Jeremy Howe could take Mark of the Year every year if he bothered.
On to the designs, and the Crowies’ guernsey is a design by club legend Andrew McLeod and his brother Jonathan, and pays homage to their Torres Strait Islander culture through nine different elements in the design- Koedal, Cod fish, Rope, Spiral shells, Decorative ornamental shells, Long Bum, Waru, Warup, and Dhangal.
At the centre of the guernsey is a ceremonial headdress, known as a Dhoeri.
In short, It’s an absolute orgasm of colour.
True fact- Bungie was so talented, that he kicked with his right foot just to give other players a chance- Because this is what he did with his left.
Of course we all saw the Eagles rock their Indigenous guernsey last Friday night, which designer Darryl Bellotti titled “Wings of An Eagle”, and he added this on the inside.
Unfortunately, they may not be able to wear it this week due to clash reasons.
Gold Coast vs Geelong @ Metricon Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
Ah yes, the Nathan Ablett Cup, which looks set to be as lopsided as most of the previous Nathan Ablett Cups previously contested.
The Suns may be struggling on the field, but in the Indigenous guernsey department, they’re a Top 4 contender.
The design by Yugambeh man Luther Cora, in conjunction with the Suns’ Indigenous players (Jack Martin, Izak Rankine, Sean Lemmens, Callum AhChee & Jarrod Harbrow), features a pattern of cracked earth representing Queensland and traditional Aboriginal artwork watermarked throughout, and also has each player’s tribe, language group and/or totem in the bottom right.
The Yawuru (Martin) & Ngarrindjeri (Rankine) the Flying Fox (Lemmens), Sand Plain Wallaby (AhChee), and the Jelly fish (Harbrow).
Geelong’s guernsey was designed by Quinton Narkle (Nephew of Phil), who says that the Giant Trevally featured “Represents our connection with the Arnhem Land region, and the snake-like pattern throughout the whole jumper symbolises the rainbow serpent, which is the creator of my own region.”
The seven segments of the serpent represent the languages of all seven of the Cats’ Indigenous players- Barkindji, Iwaidja, Noongar, Ngarrindjeri, Wajuk, Larrakia and Yidinjdji.
‘Sparkle’ also includes a tribute to a Legend of both Geelong and the game itself- Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer, with the number 5 appearing on both the front and back- Apparently the #5 on the back glows in the dark.
Furthermore with the Cats’ Indigenous connection, ‘Geelong’ is the anglicised version of the land the Wathaurong people called Jillong, with the surrounding area called Corayo, which was anglicised to Corio.
You may or may not have known that.
The Dreamtime At The ‘G
Richmond vs Essendon, 7:25pm AEST
Daniel Rioli put Richmond’s design together with his parents, and he’s on course to make his return just in time to wear it.
The same can’t be said for Ivan ‘Han’ Soldo, who got rubbed out for elbowing James Worpel off the ball, which makes me wonder why he didn’t just do what Gaz did and just elbowed someone-
The Dons finally got back on the winners list against Freo in a game that was so weird that Dylan Shiel managed to kick straight, and they’ve built on that superbly this week, by losing B&F Devon Smith to a season-ending knee surgery, and Joe Daniher is also smoked like a peace pipe in 2019 due to a groin injury.
Start warming up the ’15 years since Essendon won a final’ balloons!
Rioli’s design features his personal totem of the Turtle and he says that “It’s very special to me so I wanted it included twice on the jumper, it’s the dreaming and spirit animal of the Rioli family.”
“I have no idea how dad got good at drawing, but he did all the dot paintings around the jumper, which is a big part of Aboriginal culture, the colourings are iconic to the Tiwi Islanders’ style of artwork. The spears on the reverse are similar to those my friends and I used to go hunting with and traditionally into battle, they represent men, and power.”
Also on the front is Richmond’s support for the treaty movement in Victoria.
Of course, the big highlight for this year’s Dreamtime game is celebrating 15 years since Essendon champ and 1993 Norm Smith Medalist Michael Long undertook “The Long Walk” from Melbourne to Canberra, to meet with John Howard and get Indigenous and Torres Straight Islanders back on the national agenda.
In keeping with that theme, the Bombers’ guernsey has been designed by Merryn Apma Atkinson, who participated in that first Long Walk back in 2004, and she describes the design as a “Legacy of the Long Walk.”
“The circles and tracks are the towns and mileage walked by Michael Long. The square symbols are Michael with his stick and the men who walked with him. The ‘U’ shapes represent the women who walked. The circles are the people who came together as a blended community..”
Here’s a true fact- Essendon’s constitution states that they must always wear a guernsey with a red sash.
Melbourne vs GWS @ The MCG, 1:10pm AEST
It really does speak volumes about how terrible the Dees’ season has been that Carlton can get tarred and feathered by GWS by 93 points, and still have a slightly better percentage than the Demons.
It’s a fact.
After blowing a winnable game against the Eagles, Simon Goodwin is sick of Melbourne’s crap performances in 2019- quite literally- after he had a dizzy spell during a press conference yesterday.
I haven’t seen an injury toll this bad since Clarko went down in the great Hawthorn crisis of 2014.
As for the Giants, as mentioned above, they walloped Carlton and gained some 12.8% in the process as Jeremy Cameron went goalless again, but only thing that will be mentioned from now until Sunday is the fact that they’ve won 2 games out of 16 at the MCG, and in their last visit a fortnight ago, got chocked to death by a really mediocre Hawks team.
They’ve turned into a pre-2018 West Coast.
Melbourne’s design is by Mary Young, a local artist from Santa Teresa, 80km south-east of Alice Springs, and it’s based on the 160th anniversary jumper they wore against GWS last year.
It’s fairly simple stuff, with the design around the neck based on a boomerang and reflecting the traditional Melbourne Football Club design, and Young adds that “Circles are group of warrior men. The design down the side represents Country. The design at the bottom symbols lines and links between us all.”
The Giants’ design is based on artwork by Wiradjuri woman Leeanne Hunter, and it’s titled “Football Dreaming”, and represents harmony, health, education and employment, the Giants’ four community pillars.
The oval on the front represents a footy, while the hands surrounding it represent the people who help coordinate and support the team and its players, and the back features a large circle that represents the club as the meeting place, with footprints to illustrate the players journey.
On the one hand, Melbourne are Melbourne, but on the other hand, it’s GWS at the MCG, which means there’s potential for the universe to implode from the sheer amount of suckage we could see on Sunday afternoon.
Oh, and did I mention that the Giants have a crap record at the MCG?
I’m not sure if I did.
St Kilda vs Carlton @ Marvel Stadium, 3:20pm AEST
The Saints have now lost 4 straight after getting smacked around by Collingwood in the final quarter, despite recording more Inside 50s, but this game is their most winnable game since at least Round 5, when they played Melbourne.
As for Carlton… apparently they went to Sydney to play GWS, and then 5 minutes before the bounce,Sideshow Bob destroyed all the TV transmitters in town, and nobody saw the game.
I listened to Triple M’s Midweek Rub yesterday, and Nathan ‘Bent Leg’ Brown claimed that Carlton have at least 13 potential All-Australians in their team.
Sure they do, if you multiply Patrick Cripps by 13.
Anyway, on to the designs, and the Saints’ design is a partnership of Emily Long (Ben’s sister) and club graphic designer Megan Mitchell, and tells a story of the history of the Long family and their totems.
The front represents the Long family’s paternal grandfather’s ancestors, the Anmatyere people, who come from Ti Tree, Northern Territory, whose Emu totem is symbolised by three eggs and footprints, with the water holes representing the land that the emus frequent, connected by Twenty Mile Creek, while the shark represents the protector of the Tiwi Islands, where Jack Long was adopted by the Kerinaiua family, where they were born and still live to this day.
On the back are feathers representing the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, which is the protector, hunter and all-seeing totem of the Maranunggu people, the Long family’s paternal grandmother’s ancestors.
Carlton’s design is by proud Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu woman Shelley Ware from South Australia, and combines Carlton’s navy blue with indigenous symbols representing family, strength & protection, and ithighlights the path Carlton’s five Indigenous players have taken on their journey to the club.
Those descriptions will probably be more enthralling than the game.
Fremantle vs Brisbane Lions @ Optus Stadium, 3:20pm AWST (5:20)
Lachie Neale’s departure from Freo to Brisbane after winning the Dockers’ B&F has no doubt reared its head again, and so it should- It was the most shocking player move between the Lions & Dockers since Des Headland left Brissy after the 2002 Premiership.
I assume the Freo supporters will be giving Lachie some form of a muffled boo during all 38 disposals he racks up on Sunday, as Brisbane probably end up winning by 10 goals.
Now, Troy Cook is a name the kids of today may not remember, but he was a fine player for Freo back in the 2000s after crossing over from the Swans, and he’s back with his childhood friend from Carnavon, artist Victor Bellotti to design the Dockers’ guernsey.
Cook utilised the landmarks, fauna and cultural connections that have had a lasting impression on his life. The Gascoyne River is the central feature of the jumper, which Cook describes as “My oasis… Spearing, lashing, fishing and swimming with family and friends was a regular occurrence.”
“Either side of the river are the tracks of a kangaroo, emu and goanna. Each was hunted as a respected food source for many families. The animals survive around the permanent water holes.”
Cook also designed an away version, which I assume the Dockers will be wearing next week against Collingwood.
Further touching on this, Freo’s history of Aboriginal players is nothing short of fantastic- They’re the only club outside of the expansion clubs to have had at least one indigenous player on their list throughout their history, and they also hold the record of fielding 8 players with Indigenous heritage back in Round 10, 2017- Which just happened to be Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Unfortunately they are Freo, and they lost by 100 points to Adelaide.
On to Brisbane’s design, based on two paintings by Birri Gubba-Barada Ghungullu-Darumbul man Derek Orman, and the guernsey is an absolute knockout, and I’d declare it as the best thing to happen to the Lions since the Threepeat.
Orman’s paintings reflect country, specifically south-east Queensland, and displays a traditional map focusing on “ancient and culturally significant parts of the Brisbane CBD.”
The white dots represent the old travelling pathways of Indigenous ancestors between meeting places, and said tracks are now the main roads used to link the suburbs of Brisbane.
The Lions colours of maroon, blue & gold have been incorporated into the sunset, that blends the mountains into the night sky.
As far as creativity goes, that’s deadset outstanding.
Also seen in the sky are constellations of the Lions’ Indigenous players’ totems- The flying fox for Allen Christensen, the lizard for Cedric Cox , the goanna for Charlie Camero and the emu for AFLW player Ally Anderson.