WHEN the Western Bulldogs run out on to the MCG to face Collingwood in round 10, Koby Stevens will be brimming with pride for more than one reason.
In a season in which the rugged midfielder has displayed career-best form, the 24-year-old will wear a guernsey that holds special meaning to him.
The club will mark Sir Doug Nicholls Round with a new indigenous jumper, and Stevens is looking forward to celebrating the profound impact his people have had on the game.
The Bulldogs will also don the jumper in round 11 when they host West Coast at Etihad Stadium and the Dogs' women's team will wear it against Western Australia on June 5.
"It's always a good round every year to show some leadership in the indigenous community and to be able to wear a jumper I'm pretty proud of," Stevens told AFL.com.au.
"It's a great concept."
The Bulldogs guernsey was developed by a group of Ballarat indigenous artists named The Pitcha Makin Fellas, and it continues the strong ties the Bulldogs have with the regional city.
The figure in the centre of the guernsey, known as the Great Black Pointer, is pointing the way for all, giving direction and showing a path to follow.
Stevens and Joel Hamling, the only current Bulldogs with indigenous heritage, spent time with group during the design process.
"The jumper symbolises an elder statesman within the community showing leadership and good guidance to the younger people," Stevens said.
"It's a big thing within our community to show leadership to the younger people growing up."
While Stevens is looking forward to the celebratory round, he's been busy rehabilitating an abdominal strain that saw him miss the nail-biting win over Adelaide.
"It's just a little strain and it's something that's been lingering for a weeks, so it was in my best interests to have a week off," he said.
"I'm touch and go for this week, but I'm giving myself every chance to get up for Sunday's game against Melbourne."
BUY NOW: Visit the Bulldogs Shop now to purchase the new Western Bulldogs Indigenous Round Guernsey.