Home jumpers for grand final
THE Western Bulldogs will wear their royal blue home jumper and white shorts in the AFL grand final against Melbourne, in a move that will prove popular with traditionalists.
The two clubs will meet in the historic September 25 decider at Perth’s Optus Stadium, having obliterated their respective opponents in one-sided preliminary finals.
As the higher-ranked team, minor premiers Melbourne will wear their navy blue and red jumper with navy home shorts and red socks in the decider.
The AFL confirmed its decision on the grand final uniforms to AAP on Monday.
It means Melbourne and the Bulldogs will don modern versions of the same uniform designs worn when they last played off for a premiership in the 1954 VFL grand final.
The Bulldogs have since worn several slightly different versions of their home jumper but reverted to separate red and white bands on the blue guernsey in 2012.
The Demons had a short stint in royal blue in the 1970s and 1980s when colour television was introduced, but switched back to navy in 1987 and have remained that way ever since.
The grand final uniform combination will be the same as that worn by the two clubs in Round 19, when they clashed at the MCG in a Melbourne home game.
There had been some concern from traditionalists that the Bulldogs may be forced to wear their predominantly white clash uniform.
However, those fears have now been eased.
There was controversy in 2017 when Richmond was forced to wear their predominantly yellow clash uniform in the grand final against Adelaide.
Tigers legend Kevin Bartlett was particularly vocal about the league’s decision, calling it a “travesty” that his club would line up in the clash kit.
Coach Damien Hardwick wasn’t too concerned during the build-up, declaring his team would “play in a hessian bag” if it meant appearing in a grand final.
It ended well for Richmond, who convincingly beat the Crows to end a 37-year premiership drought and turned their clash jumper into a massive money-spinner through merchandise sales.
GWS (2019), West Coast (2015), Fremantle (2013) and St Kilda (2010) also wore clash jumpers in recent grand finals.
(C) AAP 2021