Multicultural players the future of football

Multicultural players the future of football

The Falcons will fly with worldly colours on a special one-off guernsey in celebration of International Round when they take on East Fremantle at Arena Joondalup on Sunday.

The design follows last year’s Union Jack jumper, which raised eyebrows with its total transformation of the Falcons’ traditional look.

But traditionalists should be kept relatively happy with the 2013 version, which retains West Perth’s blue sash on red backing, while adding a football logo draped in world flags.

Falcons chief executive David Crute discussed the club’s push to expand its appeal beyond the district’s British migrants this year.

‘This concept is exciting,’ he said.

‘Last year was a huge success, (but) in 2013 we embrace more than just the British as we celebrate football to embrace (all) new Australians.’

The club attracted its biggest crowd of the season during International Round in 2012, with more than 6000 supporters attending the clash against Subiaco.

West Perth officials are hoping for a similar-sized crowd this year, having visited 35 local primary schools and handing out 30,000 free tickets to families across the district.

West Perth district manager Andrew Ridley emphasised the importance of developing a primary school presence in a zone where Australian football was not the number one sport in many households.

He referred to the fact more than 30 per cent of residents in the Falcons’ district were born overseas.

‘We use schools as a major driver to expose children to football, including migrant children,’ he said.

‘The results have been good over the past year or so and our school participation rates have gone up more than 60 per cent.

‘We have encouraging situations at clubs like the Brighton Seahawks, which is English heartland, where now the parents are becoming actively involved as coaches and volunteers and that’s what we want to see.’

The club has recruited Eddystone Primary School and its Intensive Language Centre to be a part of this Sunday’s celebrations. Students, many who come from an international background, will march on the oval before the game and become part of the action during half time footy clinics.