Should AFL players make names for themselves? On the back of their guernseys that is.
Two callers to ABC radio’s Sports Talk last Saturday suggested the AFL should consider putting the names of players on the back of jumpers.
The idea attracted a mixed response but the callers cited many sports around the world where it happens.
While that doesn’t necessarily make it right for the AFL, I can’t see too many reason why we shouldn’t at least look at it.
With more than 800 players on the lists of the 18 clubs, there has never been more footballers in the system and names on jumpers would help readily identify the tyros and also the players who have swapped clubs.
This was the consideration in the NAB Cup match against Sydney on February 19 when GWS became the first club in the game's history to have names on their backs.
It was a one-off but perhaps it is a sign of the times.
West Coast assistant coach Scott Burns, who played 265 games in No.17 with Collingwood, supports the move.
Burns, who was on radio to talk about Eagles' clash with GWS, said he would have been proud to wear his name above the No. 17 which he carried proudly for the Pies.
There might be a few glitches. For example while the name Burns would easily fit on the back of a jumper, the designers might have more trouble with Sydney’s Lewis Roberts-Thompson.
The diehards will cite the fact that they know all the players by sight or at least know the names by numbers but not everybody is that fanatical.
It’s got merit.