Special NAIDOC strips honour culture

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Former Royals player Mick Colbung with the jumper to be worn by Royals in this Saturday's NAIDOC Round clash.
Camera IconFormer Royals player Mick Colbung with the jumper to be worn by Royals in this Saturday's NAIDOC Round clash. Credit: Laurie Benson

Royals and Railways will both wear specially designed jumpers that incorporate important parts of the Great Southern’s Aboriginal heritage as part of NAIDOC Round in the Great Southern Football League this weekend.

The two traditional Albany clubs will clash for the first time this season as both recognise their past and present indigenous players with the newly designed playing strips.

Lions premiership player Mick Colbung, in consultation with Andrew Taylor from Brothaboy, came up with the design.

Colbung will toss the coin before Saturday’s fixture at Centennial Stadium and award a NAIDOC football to the best player between the two sides.

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NAIDOC Round has been recognised by the GSFL for several seasons but this will be the first time teams have got jumpers made up for the occasion.

“This is great recognition of past and present indigenous players in the area,” Colbung said.

“At Royals, we’ve had some great indigenous players over the years, including the likes of Shaun Colbung Sr, who went on to play in the WAFL from the country and is a life member of Royals.”

The Lions will regain key tall target Andrew Ruck, while vital trio Dave Parker, Taylor Powell and Ryan Flick all trained on Tuesday to remain in the mix for the round 3 clash.

Sam Baddeley-Holmes is another the Lions could welcome back to the line-up as they try to upset the Tigers, who have started the new season with impressive wins over North Albany and Mt Barker.

Chasing a 3-0 start to the season, the Tigers are sweating on the fitness of midfield star Logan Stubber after a hip injury and defender Jack Hastie. Wingman Dylan Schorer is unavailable this week but Hayden Davies will return to the senior line-up.

With their recent upgrade of lighting, Collingwood Park will host a rare GSFL night fixture tomorrow when the Kangas tackle Albany at 7.30pm following the Great Southern Women’s Football League grand final.

The Kangas recorded their first win of the season last Saturday but face a Sharks outfit that has showed encouraging signs in the opening two rounds.

The night fixture is one of only a few that have been played in the GSFL recently but clubs are keen to try the concept given the success of the GSWFL being played on Friday nights.

The other NAIDOC Round match will be played at Sounness Park between the Bulls and Denmark-Walpole on Saturday afternoon.

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