Sashes clash at MCG

THERE'S much more than premiership points at stake when Essendon tackles Richmond in Saturday night's Dreamtime at the 'G'.

Dreamtime at the G is more than about kicks, marks, tackles, bumps and goals

Although we are just are nine rounds in, the finals aspirations of the Tigers and Bombers are teetering on the edge.

A loss on Saturday night will make it extremely difficult for either team to figure in September.

Saturday night's clash of the sash is a feature of the AFL's Indigenous Round.

Since it kicked off in 2005, Dreamtime at the G has become much more than about kicks, marks, tackles, bumps and goals.

It's a match that celebrates the enormous contribution Indigenous players have made to our great game.

A year ago the Bombers triumphed.

In 2014, Essendon has had a topsy-turvy run in form and continues to be under the cloud of the "supplements scandal".

This Saturday night marks the 10th anniversary of the Long Walk led by Essendon's exciting wingman of the 1990s and Norm Smith medallist in the club's grand final victory in '93 against arch-rival, Carlton. 

Another legend of the game is honoured each time Essendon and Richmond clash in the AFL's Indigenous Round.

The Bombers will fight to retain the Kevin Sheedy Cup in what will be the 10th contest for the title.

The ledger stands at 5-4 in favour of Essendon.

It was first at Richmond and then at Essendon where Sheedy became one of the biggest names and one of the greatest trailblazers in football history.

Sheedy's 251-game career with the Tigers included premiership wins in '69, '73 and '74. He was selected in a back pocket in Richmond's Team of the Century.

At Essendon, Sheedy coached the Bombers in a 635-game career from 1981 to 2007.

The Bombers won the premiership in '84, '85, '93 and 2000.

It was during those years Essendon recruited the likes of Indigenous stars Michael Long and Gavin Wanganeen and more from many pockets of Australia.

Long and Wanganeen were selected in the Indigenous Team of the Century.

A Brownlow Medallist and premiership player at Essendon and Port Adelaide, Wanganeen is on the half-back flank of what is a star-studded team that includes the likes of Polly Farmer in the ruck, Barry Cable as rover, Chris Johnson, Michael O'Loughlin, Nicky Winmar, Jim Krakouer.

Long is on a wing alongside the late Maurice Rioli, the brilliant centreman who earned the Norm Smith Medal in Richmond's grand final clash with Carlton in 1982.

It's great to see all AFL clubs will wear specially-designed Indigenous-themed guernseys.

The Bendigo FNL and Maryborough-Castlemaine DFNL are to be congratulated on their Indigenous round promotion. 

Footy's Indigenous round a wonderful celebration

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