Former West Coast Eagle Francis Watson has recounted how the North West-inspired NAIDOC Week guernsey he designed for the Claremont Football Club was rooted in his upbringing. The 26-year-old, who grew up in Balgo, used to sit with his grandmother while she made artwork. “Sometimes I don’t have time to do art because of work and footy, but when I was over in the Gold Coast in the AFL hub, I really got back into it,” he said. “It was an honour to be asked by Claremont to design the jumper. I’ve always been into art but it’s never really been on a professional level, more so just a hobby. “I’ve got so many memories of sitting with my grandmother while she did it, so it was nice to bring some of my culture to the Claremont jumper.” Watson said he started the design with the traditional Claremont blue sash, making it more wavy to represent journey lines and rivers and having two circles representing communities on each end of the journey line, which would often see their warriors battle it out. “That represents two different teams who may be on their own journey in life — it represents our Claremont team and our opponents,” he said. “On the bottom left of the jumper, there’s three more circles with people around them and a journey line in-between. This represents the communities of Balgo, Mulan and Bililuna — the three communities in the desert, which are next to each other.” Watson was not selected to play the round on July 10, but he said it was special to see his team donning the guernsey. “Seeing the boys run out in it — particularly one of the brother boys, Jason Carter, who was the only Indigenous player to wear it — was truly an honour,” he said.