• The specially made balls that feature in the Sir Doug Nicholls Round seen in Melbourne's Sherrin factory. (Sherrin)Source: Sherrin
The artwork shows the pathway from grassroots football to the professional league and teams uniting with the community.
NITV Staff Writer

23 May 2019 - 1:34 AM  UPDATED 23 May 2019 - 1:34 AM

Aboriginal artist Rheanna Lotter has designed the specially made Sherrin footballs that will feature in the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round.

The round begins with the Marngrook match between Sydney and Collingwood at the SCG on Friday.

It will be followed by the showpiece game of the round, the Dreamtime match at the MCG between Richmond and Essendon on Saturday.

Lotter, a Yuin Nation woman, said her design shares the story of the sport being a uniting force.

“This design shares the story of all AFL teams connecting with each other, their fans and the local community,” she said.

“Showing the pathway from grassroots footy to the AFL, so young boys and girls can follow their dream to becoming a professional AFL player. With the lines never breaking and all of us united together, the AFL community continues to stand by each other, take care of each other and always help each other.”

The Sir Doug Nicholls Round also includes Indigenous guernseys worn by each of the clubs.

Richmond foward Daniel Rioli designed his club’s guernsey with his parents Belinda Punguatji and Bradley Rioli.

It features the family totem, the turtle, and represents his upbringing on the Twi Islands.

“The club gave me the opportunity last year,” he said.

“I was in Melbourne obviously and they’re back in the Tiwi Islands designing it. So I was sort of the ideas person and mum and dad are the artists.”

He said he was looking forward to playing the Dreamtime at the G match against Essendon after recovering from a corked thigh and sore ribs.

“It’s exciting times for me and, you know, the community as well,” Rioli said.

“Can’t wait to run out there on Saturday and give it a red hot crack.”

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