Default Fans

Players’ weigh in on jumper names debate

The AFL is set to trial the introduction of player names on the backs of guernseys between Rounds 3 and 6, and so far the feedback from AFL players has been overwhelmingly positive.

It’s a concept former Essendon and GWS coach Kevin Sheedy has supported for some time, while North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey also backed the move more than a year ago.

“It’s not so much for guys like myself who have been around for a long time – people know who we are,” Harvey told The Age in January last year.

”But there are so many players who swap and change teams now with free agency … guys getting delisted, new guys getting drafted, rookies getting promoted – just the change of numbers through the season – I reckon the fans would appreciate it.”

While some vocal footy ‘purists’ disagree with the change, aside from breaking tradition there seem to be few arguments against the move.

In an era when players are increasingly building personal brands and concepts such as fantasy football ensure even the games lesser-known players are significant, there are more factors than ever that suggest the change makes sense.