The Black Swan Flies Again
FOOTBALL West has given a valuable nod to the past - and helped protect the history of the game in WA - by resurrecting the Black Swan on State team jerseys.
The Black Swan, which is prominent on the State of Western Australia's coat of arms, has featured regularly on the WA State team shirt throughout the 113-year history of representative games in the West.
It was also used by soccer bodies before the formation of Football West in 2004 when the new governing body adopted a ‘peeling ball’ logo similar to that used by Football Federation Australia. The Football West logo was also used on State representative team shirts.
Football West has now introduced a new crest, which will be used on all State representative jerseys, to better reflect the team’s status and history.
The new-look jersey was used for the first time when the State team took on Perth Glory in the Call to Arms Cup challenge at Dorrien Gardens on August 20.
Glory won an exciting tussle 1-0, thanks to a first-half goal from Nebojsa Marinkovic. The State team had a chance to earn a draw, but a penalty by captain Clark Keltie was saved by Glory goalkeeper Nick Feely.
Football West Chief Executive Peter Hugg said the new State badge made clear to those who pulled on the shirt that they were representing WA football, and not simply the administrative body.
“The WA State team players represent themselves and their club first and foremost, but there should also be a sense of pride in being identified as among the very best players in the State,” Hugg said.
“Indeed, I hope everyone involved in the local game can be proud of the players selected, particularly those from our clubs who continue to provide an environment in which players can excel."
The new State team badge incorporates a Black Swan emblem and acknowledges the date of WA’s first representative match in 1902 when they played against a touring English Cricket XI.
Since that first game, WA’s senior representative side has been involved in more than 250 matches, including against the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan, Red Star Belgrade, Chelsea, Rangers, Manchester City, China, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia, Greece, South Korea and Northern Ireland.
The Black Swan badge was also worn with pride when WA made a historic international breakthrough by winning the Marah Halim Cup tournament in Indonesia in 1975, and by successfully defending the title the following year.
The Black Swan, embracing a football, was used as the symbolic logo to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the game in WA in 1996.
It also figured prominently in promotions for the inaugural Hall of Fame WA inductions which were held in 1996.
Hall of Fame WA chairman Louis Prospero welcomed Football West's initiative in restoring the badge to the State team jersey. "It's so important we acknowledge important links to the history of our game," he added.
Hall of Fame Committee member John O'Connell, who played a record 45 times for the State, also hailed the move to recognise the Black Swan. "It's a great honour to be picked to represent your State and pride in the badge is very important," he said.
Football West has stated that the new badge will also be used by the State teams for women, juniors, masters and amateurs, while the Football West logo will continue to be used on corporate material.
To view John O'Connell talking about the History of the WA State team click here.
To view the highlights of the recent WA State team V Perth Glory FC click here.
PIC ONE: The new-look badge. PIC TWO: An original State team jersey. PIC THREE: The 2015 State team proudly wearing the new-look jersey against Perth Glory.