Essendon fringe player Michael Hartley last night became the patron saint of local ressies footballers due to his deliberate fashion choice of wearing a short-sleeved jumper over a long-sleeved jumper for a game of football. While that somewhat amateur look is quite common in local footy, it is rarely, if ever, seen at the game’s elite level, making Hartley an obvious choice to now watch over the nation’s mediocre reserves battlers.

The look’s close link to amateurism centres around the fact that not all local footballers can afford both a long- and short-sleeved jumper with their number on it, so they often borrow a long-sleeve and place their regular short-sleeve over the top. Despite some cynical fans suggesting that the Bombers wouldn’t have bothered to invest in a long-sleeve AFL jumper with Hartley’s number on it, the league’s new flag favourite is expected to have the adequate resources for jumpers of each sleeve length for all listed players.

And while Hartley was widely condemned for the amateurish look on the sport’s biggest stage (i.e. Friday night AFL footy), passionate ressies footballers across the nation have now adopted him as their talisman. Watsonia Wombats ressies regular Caleb Bradley told The Watsonia Bugle, “Mate, how good was it? I was just settling into the couch and working through my usual pre-game routine of a family-sized meat lovers pizza and a six-pack of stubbies when I first spotted it. I swooned immediately. What a man?! I might get his face tattooed onto me bum cheek on this year’s footy trip. The bloke has become the ultimate ressies poster boy. So good.”

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