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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
OFF FARM 9 AFL WOOLLEN JUMPERS MAKING THEIR MARK The locally grown, locally made woollen AFL jumpers have proven much more popular than many expected with jumpers selling as fast as they can be knitted. Whilst a long sleeve jumper is in the pipeline, AFL clubs have created their own woollen photo shoots to boost the profile of the iconic jumpers. 100 per cent Australian Merino wool retro football jumpers and scarves, gloves and beanies for AFL clubs are available from club shops as well as www.shop.afl.com.au. Also offered are Knit Kits in AFL club colours for child and adult beanies and scarves. The kits contain balls of 100% Australian wool 14ply yarn, 7mm knitting needles, wool needle, instruction leaflet, AFL fabric badge and club fabric badge. BACK TO THE SOURCE Alongside the players and coaches wearing the jumpers, AWI has traced the wool in the jumpers back to the farms where the wool was grown. Fine wool producers Fraser and Penny Barry, of ‘Bindi’ near Swifts Creek are one of 20 wool-growing businesses in Australia linked to the program. Having battled wild dogs, drought and floods on their property in East Gippsland, they were thrilled to hear their wool had been involved. AWI visited the Barry’s property and put together a short video that was played during the Round 5 Melbourne vs Fremantle clash at the MCG. “It was just amazing to see ourselves up there on the big screen at the MCG. The Fibre of Football has been a great thrill for us and we can only hope that Melbourne itself gives us a few more thrills,” Penny added with a laugh. As dedicated Merino producers, the Barry’s have been running their renowned 21-22 micron flock of fine/medium Merinos for many decades. MORE INFORMATION www.fibreoffootball.com.au For the full state squads, commentary and the chance to nominate someone overlooked, head to www.footyalmanac.com.au, but to whet your appetite here is one player from each state: Western Australia: Mark Bairstow: Lake Grace woolgrower, South Fremantle Sandover medalist, Geelong midfielder and captain. South Australia: John Mossop: Lucindale sheep producer, Geelong and North Melbourne ruckman. Victoria/Tasmania: Hugh Delahunty: Murtoa woolgrower, former state Agriculture Minister, Essendon. New South Wales: Ricky Quade, Ariah Park sheep producer, South Melbourne and Sydney player and coach. Wool in the supporter apparel was traced to several wool- growing properties, including that of Fraser and Penny Barry from Swifts Creek in East Gippsland. Kurt Tippet of the Sydney Swans in a promotion of the supporter gear on the online shop of the Sydney Swans. Tweets from Bernie Vince (Melbourne), Luke Breust (Hawthorn) and Tom Hawkins (Geelong) praising and promoting the Fibre of Football’s installation at AFL House. THE ULTIMATE WOOL TEAM: STATE SQUADS ANNOUNCED Having collected wool stories, nominations and facilitated the discussion from across the country, the Footy Almanac is now compiling wool teams from various states. John Harms from the Almanac has been amazed by the response to the call for nominations for the wool team. “Having travelled to the South Australian Merino Field Day at Burra, spoken with people from Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales it is clear that we have to put squads and then teams together from each state before we finalise a national team. We really don’t want to miss out on anyone.”