THE Bega Bombers have big plans to acknowlege their Indigenous members on Friday night, and it is attracting national attention.
Club spokesman Alex Nicol said tonight’s match would include some Indigenous flair.
“Local Elder Faith Aldridge will perform a Welcome to Country ceremony before the first bounce.
“And there will be entertainment designed to reflect the importance the Bombers place on their Indigenous players.”
Nicol said the Bombers had a large representation by Indigenous players.
“Perhaps a quarter of our playing list is Indigenous, with a particularly strong representation in the junior ranks,” he said.
Pastor Ossie Cruse will provide some of the entertainment with one of the oldest forms of music.
“He’s a renowned gum leaf player,” Nicol said.
Meanwhile, John Cafe’s musical background has helped acquire a unique song for tonight’s match.
Dave Arden’s “Spirit” is a song specially written for a live performance at the MCG tonight and the artists have handed over a copy for the Bombers to play.
“They’ve passed a copy on to use in the celebrations,” Nicol said.
“The MCG is the only other place in Australia the song will play tonight.”
The club has also ordered specially designed jerseys to celebrate the contribution of Indigenous players to Aussie rules.
Nicol said the idea had national interest as former Collingwood star Shannon Cox and Hawthorn’s John Lambley have asked to purchase a jersey.
The jerseys are the brainchild of Michael Sturgess who was overwhelmed with the response to the jerseys.
“Lambley approached me about purchasing a couple of jerseys.
“He’s looking at setting up a representative Indigenous side, which will tour in different Indigenous jerseys that he’s bought.”
However, the club had concerns about the jerseys arriving in time for the game.
“I’ve had a cast iron assurance from the manufacturer that they will be here in time,” Sturgess said.
“But just in case, AFL Canberra has cooperated and arranged a quick car trip from Canberra to get them to the ground,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sturgess said a few key players were away with injuries, but the Bombers work best under pressure.
“Last year we went to a couple of games with understrength sides, but we still came away with upset wins.”
Despite the absences, Sturgess said the line-up was still a solid squad.
“We’ve still got talent there, I just think Pambula are gonna be coming down tough.
“But no matter the result, the Panthers will feel it on Saturday,” he said.