The AFL's decision to place names on the back of guernseys has been met with overwhelming support from the football community, flagging the possibility of a permanent change from 2015.

AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan yesterday announced the league would trial the concept in round five this season, with all 18 clubs taking part.

Both the league and clubs would then gather feedback before deciding whether to introduce the names full-time in future seasons.

The idea of putting names on the back of AFL guernseys was first trialled in the 2011 NAB Cup when Greater Western Sydney, still one year out from joining the competition, fielded a young and unknown side.

The Giants and Gold Coast have been two of the concept's biggest advocates, with several other clubs also keen to test the waters.

While the idea assists the game's newest followers, McLachlan says it is important to take into account the opinion of the league's existing fan-base.

"The tradition in our game is incredibly important and we want to see what the reaction is," he said. "We have new fans, new audiences that we are trying to talk to.

"Understanding in this era of expansion who all the young kids are on the GWS list or Gold Coast or the players at any club is really important and a challenge as people try and adopt our game."

McLachlan said the small size of an AFL guernsey would prove to be an issue with longer names, but the league would work through the problems.

The idea was met with support from playing ranks, with Brisbane star Tom Rockliff tweeting: "Great call by the AFL to throw the family name on the back of jumpers. Nice touch, represent your club and your family."

Former West Coast forward Brett Heady and Fremantle's four-times Ross Glendinning medallist Paul Hasleby also praised the AFL's innovation.

·Collingwood are expected to announce that Dane Swan has signed a two-year contract extension at their family day today.

The 2011 Brownlow medallist has played 219 games for the Magpies.

The West Australian

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