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Gold Coast Suns unveil special Larrakia jumper ahead of Territory fixtures

Jackson Clark -

Gold Coast Suns have unveiled a special Darwin-Larrakia Indigenous jumper to pay homage to the club's strong connection to the Top End.

The guernsey was designed by Larrakia artist Trent Lee and will be worn during the Suns' two home games at TIO Stadium in Darwin in May.

Gold Coast will head north to face North Melbourne on Saturday May 11, followed by a clash against Geelong on Thursday May 16, which will serve as the opening for Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Lee said that it was an honour to design the jumper.

"I wanted to connect the design to the creation story so it was important to make sure that was at the forefront, alongside the iconic sunset at Mindil Beach," Lee said.

"When (Suns life member & Indigenous Programs Lead) Jarrod Harbrow asked me to design the guernsey, I was honoured.

"It's been enjoyable to design past guernseys in collaboration, but it was a proud moment when I was asked to design this jumper."

The sun design symbolises the iconic sunset at Mindil Beach while the Rainbow Serpent also features prominently on the jumper.

The Suns' Territory players modelling the jumper that will be worn in Darwin. (Image: Gold Coast Suns)

The Rainbow Serpent is the dreaming and creator of life that has created the earth and the lands that the Suns will play on in Darwin.

The Suns have been able to turn TIO Stadium into a home away from home since signing a deal with the Northern Territory Government in 2019.

The club has won its past four matches in Darwin, posting wins against Western Bulldogs and Adelaide last year, and thrashing Hawthorn and North Melbourne in 2022.

Gold Coast have invested into the development of Territory footballers with many of the current playing list having links to the Top End.

Ben Long, Will Rowlands, Lloyd Johnston, Sandy Brock, Malcolm Rosas and Joel Jeffrey are all from the Territory, while Sean Lemmens and Jy Farrar have strong family ties.

James Tsitas and Sam Clohesy both featured in the Northern Territory Football League competition before being drafted, while AFLW player Ashanti Bush hails from Beswick in the NT.

Rosas will be unavailable to play in his home state with the Suns' listing him as seven weeks away from a return due to a hamstring injury he sustained against Sydney.

Meanwhile, Joel Jeffrey and Ben Long have been doing their selection chances no harm after a string of solid performances at VFL level.

Jeffrey has averaged 28.5 disposals per game playing across the backline, while Long has kicked 11 goals across his three matches to sit equal-second on the VFL goal kicking leader board.

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