This weekend the AFL has parted with tradition and opted for a new look. For the first time, we will see each player’s surname emblazoned across the back of his jumper.
And I for one am devastated.
Not because of the so-called break from tradition, but because I won’t be out there to wear one.
Every young kid who follows footy has a favourite player. Growing up, ironically I was a Crows supporter and idolised the high-flying full forward who wore number six.
I loved everything Tony Modra did on the football field. I had many different Crows jumpers through the years and each one had the number six on the back.
But even then, I always thought how much better it would look if my idol’s name “MODRA” could be on the back above his number.
I follow a few international sports like the EPL, NFL and NBA and have always wondered when the AFL was going to follow suit and put names on the back of jumpers.
It makes sense.
I am hoping that as soon as next year, players’ surnames on the back of jumpers will be a permanent fixture.
Not only can fans wear their idol’s name and number proudly on their backs, but opposition players and new players will always be easily identified.
I was excited when the AFL announced earlier this year that they would trial this concept in Round Five of the home and away season. It’s a sense of pride that I would get to run out and not only represent my club, but also my family.
At season’s end, the warm up gear that features “MONFRIES” on the back is always the first item my two brothers want to get their hands on. It just has that more personalised feel that you don’t get by simply displaying a number.
Unfortunately for me, I wont be able to experience this new initiative from the AFL this weekend because of my hamstring injury. But I have no doubt that the public’s opinion will be positive.
I am hoping that as soon as next year, players’ surnames on the back of jumpers will be a permanent fixture and my dream of wearing my surname on my back will be achieved. And maybe there might be a few young kids who will want to wear not only the number six on the back of their jumper like I did when I was young, but also the Monfries name and not Tony Modra’s!
And by the way, that’s a Port Adelaide jumper – not an Adelaide one!
Do you share Monfries’ view that players’ surnames should permanently feature on the backs of guernseys? Let us know in the comment box below.
See below a few responses from other players throughout the league.