The AFL pre-season is a time to experiment with new jumper designs. Some are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly – here are the 20 strangest.
20. Footscray – Year of the Dogs
The Doggies wheeled out this number for the 1995 and 1996 pre-season and then adopted it as thier away jumper during the AFL centenary season in 1996 – a nice traditional jumper to wear in the 100th season of VFL/AFL football. This jumper featured in the documentary about Footscray’s tumultous season in 1996, ‘Year of the Dogs’. By the end of 1996 a new broom swept through the Whitten Oval, a new president, David Smorgon, was installed bringing a raft of changes – the club name was changed to the Western Bulldogs, home games were moved to Carlton’s Princes Park and a new jumper was unvieled, consigning this one to history.
19. St Kilda white & black
St Kilda produced this simple but bold pre-season number that proved two things. It was better than most of it’s efforts at clash jumpers that they’ve used in the season proper – think the apron jumper with its peeling logo – and it was versatile. With a light version and a dark version easily made and the Saints got to use both of them in the one night in 2011 when they played Essendon and Brisbane in a triple header game.
18. Sydney to South Melbourne
Sydney don’t muck around with their jumper but when they do make changes it’s classy. In a throw back to the old South Melbourne jumper of white with a red V, the Swans produced a similar jumper with a bit of Sydney styling – cutting the sails of the opera house into the red V and an alternative jumper was created if required. Plenty of white in the jumper and when was the last time red numbers were seen on an AFL jumper?
17. North Melbourne kangaroo
Back in the mid 1990s North Melbourne were puting kangaroos on their jumpers in the pre-season which was soon taken up as an away jumper for the season proper. Compared to the stylised Kangaroo shield and swirly lines, the blue roo in profile is elegant in its simplicity.
16. Brisbane Queensland flood appeal
Brisbane wore this jumper in the pre-season of 2011 just months after the terrible floods in Brisbane and South East Queensland of January of that year. A very worthwhile cause and it is unusual for an AFL club jumper to be changed for a charitable cause. With the map of Queensland it was a bit of a throwback to the old Brisbane Bears jumper with its stylised map of Queensland. What was odd about the jumper is the usual royal blue yoke was removed from the front of the jumper but not the back meaning there was a bar of blue across the top of the back of the jumper above the number.