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Names on Jumpers… here to stay?

After a week in which the ‘names on jumpers’ debate sparked plenty of discussion – and for the first time, a genuine trial – everything has returned to normal.

We saw 396 surnames represented over the weekend – 397 if you count Tom Hawkins wearing teammate Josh Walker’s guernsey for a quarter – but we won’t see any more for the remainder of 2014.

A La Trobe University poll saw 74% of respondents agree names on jumpers should become a permanent fixture.

But before the issue is put to bed for another nine months or so, it’s worth considering how the trial worked, and what it might mean for the future.

Port Adelaide’s Angus Monfries wrote an article for last week expressing his regret at missing out on the trial – a hamstring strain meant he was unable to wear the Monfries name over his number six – and his belief that names on the backs of guernseys should become a permanent fixture.

In a La Trobe University poll, 74 percent of respondents shared Monfries’s point of view – agreeing that players should have names on the backs of their guernseys permanently.

AFL Players’ Association Player Relations Manager Brett Murphy was another to throw his support behind the addition of names on jumpers.

“We would support the inclusion of player names on jumpers on a permanent basis,” Murphy said, on behalf of the ‘PA.

“Including names on jumpers bring fans and players closer together, by making it easier for fans to identify players during matches.”

Given the positive feedback for the concept, names on jumpers could be here to stay starting from 2015. Monfries wouldn’t be the only one to welcome the move.