No need for AFL to name names on guernseys, Kevin

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    Kevin Sheedy is in talks to return to Essendon. (AFL Media/Slattery Images).

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    Putting names on the back of players jumpers could be a reality in years to come, with the AFL admitting that there has been a push from various coaches within the league.

    The idea which is most popular in soccer is now being pushed due to the introduction of the two new teams and consequently nearly 100 extra players for football diehards to memorise.

    This topic has been raised at meetings between AFL officials for years but it is only now gathering momentum.

    Deputy CEO of the AFL Gillon McLachlan had a lot to say on the new developments.

    “There are a number of people that think, especially in the context of a couple of new teams, that now is the time,” McLachlan said.

    “It is getting a bit of momentum.”

    GWS Giants coach Kevin Sheedy is one of the driving forces behind this, due to the introduction of his new team.

    Throughout his campaign the traditionalists have won the debate every time, except for a little win back in the summer of 2011 where he was allowed to put players names on the jumpers of his young NAB Cup side.

    Kevin argues that putting the names on players jumpers will help fans identify his young Giants players.

    “I’m in the marketplace of explaining who we are, so if people want to get to know Jeremy Cameron, people want to know Stephen Coniglio…we’ve got to try to make superstars in Sydney,” Sheedy said.

    “Don’t run around with blank sheets of paper on their back. Don’t run around with a whiteboard with nothing on it.”

    Other more successful teams value it as less of a priority because their fan-base doesn’t need it. However these teams say they wouldn’t oppose the plan either if it came down to that.

    The number system was first introduced back in 1911 to help fans identify their players.

    Carlton and Essendon were the first two teams to wear numbers back then, so many believe they should be the first to test out the naming system.

    The practicality of this plan could be questioned however, due to people with names like Lewis Roberts-Thompson, though maybe we could settle for his nickname LRT.

    What do you think, Roarers? Should the AFL introduce jumper names?

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • July 5th 2013 @ 2:46pm
      Macca said | July 5th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

      If GWS fans don’t care enough about their players to memorise a number then they have more problems than putting a name on a jumper can solve.

    • July 5th 2013 @ 2:52pm
      Joe said | July 5th 2013 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

      As an Irish import, and someone who’s taken the game to his heart – I can say that names on the jerseys would have made it a lot easier to become conversant with my Aussie work buddies about footy earlier than I was. In its stead though, I found Dream Team and Supercoach to be the best way of learning players names, and who played for who.

      So, do you want to attract new fans, especially sports-mad immigrants like myself through the gates? Want to make it easier for us to get to grips with the scoial/conversational aspect of the footy? Then, this is a fine idea.

      • July 5th 2013 @ 3:03pm
        SportsFingers said | July 5th 2013 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        Thanks Joe,

        Thats exactly why I thought it would be a good idea.

      • July 5th 2013 @ 3:05pm
        Macca said | July 5th 2013 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        You could always buy a record!

        REally who is going to be able to read “carrazzo” or even “Murphy” from the stands?

        • July 5th 2013 @ 6:31pm
          Mitcher said | July 5th 2013 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

          Maybe true from the stands, but on TV might make a difference.
          Why not I say? If it helps some casual fans and doesn’t really hurt anyone what’s the problem.

    • July 5th 2013 @ 3:14pm
      Franko said | July 5th 2013 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

      Maybe the players will also adopt nicknames on their back. I for one am looking forward to seeing Wingardinho playing this week.

    • July 5th 2013 @ 3:19pm
      Martin Davis said | July 5th 2013 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

      I am not against the idea, however the main reason why numbers were introduced onto jumpers was so that the umpires could identify a reported player, the same reason they still exist today, not for fans to identify the players or they would have just put names on to start with (that’s why even players that the umpires know are still turned around when they are reported). Also from 1924 onwards so that players could be awarded votes in the Brownlow Medal.

      Correct me if i’m wrong but football records are avalaible at EVERY AFL game and for the new to footy person, generally the first taste of our game is via television, which all have expert comentators and every time the players name shows up on the screen they quickly learn who it is or the commentator identify’s the player in real time for the arm chair sports fan.

      Why must we continue to change everything???

      • July 5th 2013 @ 4:12pm
        SportsFingers said | July 5th 2013 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

        Don’t you think it would help people like Joe who commented above?

    • July 5th 2013 @ 6:10pm
      Knoxy said | July 5th 2013 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

      Jumpers are already cluttered enough nowadays with sponsors. I don’t want to even more stuff plastered over them. Also as Macca pointed out supporters in the stands probably wouldn’t be able to read the names anyway. So I don’t really see the point.

    • Roar Pro

      July 5th 2013 @ 10:25pm
      MFairPlay said | July 5th 2013 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

      I love the idea. As I go to the footy with family friends every second week to see Power, for the past 3 years and still am getting asked always “who’s that? who’s that?” I’m getting tired of saying the same name over and over again . Buying a footy record isn’t hard but it’s worked for many sports of the world.

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