THE bottle green jumper is back.
The Hampden league’s representative side will wear its traditional-coloured jumper for the first time in four years when it meets Ovens and Murray in a showdown between country Victoria’s fifth and sixth ranked leagues in 10 days at Wangaratta.
While it will carry splashes of white, the jumper is a throwback to the customary bottle green with a white HFNL motif that was worn with distinction for decades by the team with the nickname Bottle Greens.
The league’s representative players have worn green shorts with white jumpers featuring a green HFNL motif on the front in their past three representative campaigns. But on May 24 they will revert to white shorts and the green jumper.
The return to the bottle green comes a year after some league executive members pushed for a change to a more commercially available design based on the Brisbane Lions clash guernsey.
But that was knocked on the head after supporters and former players wanted a return to the bottle green. Coach Nick O’Sullivan, who still wears his bottle green woollen jumper from his playing days at training, welcomed the return of the strip he wore with pride and passion.
“We’ve gone through a period where they had the big ship on the front of them and now white and it doesn’t represent who we are and the league’s history,” O’Sullivan said.
“Now they are back to the original bottle green and that’s something all supporters can identify with.”
O’Sullivan said he understood the move to white was originally made to avoid a clash with the black, green and yellow worn by the Murray league in their 2011 match — his first as coach. Last year when the Hampden league defeated Sunraysia, it again wore white because its rival wore predominately green jumpers with yellow piping.
But he said the league would not be so accommodating in future.
“We’ve become the one who always seems to change. We think we will go back to our bottle green and make a bit of a stance on it.”
O’Sullivan said the bottle green would not clash with Ovens and Murray, which has predominately yellow jumpers with black splashes.