GUERNSEY numbers are one of Australian Rules football’s many great traditions.
And that’s not just because of their convenience.
Yes, they tell the players where to sit in the locker room and prove to be an easy point of identification for those with poor eyesight in the crowd.
But most importantly, they give young fans a connection to their heroes – and an extra few digits on their Instagram handles.
So, with season five of the AFLW Competition quickly approaching, now is the time to learn the nine new numbers the Demons have recently unveiled.
That includes the seven fresh faces joining the red and blue this year, and two familiar names who have been promoted to single figures.
Let’s start with No.5.
It has a rich history at the top level, having been donned proudly by Christian Petracca and Elise O’Dea in years gone by.
But a new era begins for one of the game’s great numbers and it will feel right at home on the back of young gun, Tyla Hanks.
Two seats down, a replacement for Bianca Jakobsson was required.
While they are some tough boots to fill, Shae Sloane is capable of doing just that in the No.7.
Sloane’s shuffle leaves her previously owned No.26 up for grabs, having worn that for just one quarter to start her luckless AFLW career.
Irish recruit Lauren Magee has volunteered to take that guernsey off her and will pull it on for the first time when she touches down in Australia on the eve of the season.
In terms of the draftees, well, they had options aplenty.
There were some major vacancies in the number department following Melbourne’s busy Sign and Trade Period, and Mietta Kendall has pinched the lowest guernsey available, taking No.13 off Katherine Smith.
The club’s top draft pick, Alyssa Bannan, will step into Aliesha Newman’s No.16, and from one back-up ruck to another, Maggie Caris takes the No.21 from Harriet Cordner.
Eliza McNamara replaces Maddy Guerin in the No.22, while Megan Fitzsimon (No.24) and Isabella Simmons (No.25) round out the news for the Dees.
With the playing list finalised for 2021, familiarise yourself with every player’s number below.
Full AFLW Player Number List:
1 - Tegan Cunningham
2 - Meg Downie
3 - Maddison Gay
4 - Karen Paxman
5 - Tyla Hanks (changed from No.28)
6 - Daisy Pearce
7 - Shae Sloane (changed from No.26)
8 - Sarah Lampard
9 - Libby Birch
10 - Kate Hore
11 - Chantel Emonson
12 - Shelley Scott
13 - Mietta Kendall (new)
14 - Lily Mithen
15 - Lauren Pearce
16 - Alyssa Bannan (new)
17 - Niamh McEvoy
18 - Casey Sherriff
19 - Jacqueline Parry
20 - Brenna Tarrant
21 - Maggie Caris (new)
22 - Eliza McNamara (new)
23 - Sinead Goldrick
24 - Megan Fitzsimon (new)
25 - Isabella Simmons (new)
26 - Lauren Magee (new)
29 - Eden Zanker
30 - Shelley Heath
31 - Krstel Petrevski
32 - Gabby Colvin