There is some kind of mystique around certain numbers, and it’s kind of weird how those numbers seem to suit a particular type of player, but as others have said, it’s the player that makes the number.

But in the end who gets what I don’t give much of a damn.


Stringer for 24.
Bob each way as to whether he’s Joe Misiti or Steve Copping


The ‘seem to suit a certain type of player’ was largely Sheeds’s doing…27 and 19 for ruckmen, 4 for gun aboriginal players.

I think we can say that’s over in current thinking.


There are still very prestigious numbers at clubs. We have a few that are extremely highly valued
3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13, 18, 31 would the top 8 numbers at our club I would have thought.

This is what football clubs are all about - it’s about loving the history of the club. It’s about those people who have lived through many generations of footballers, and can see a young Van der Har running around when they see Hurley flying for the ball, or a young Michael Long when Orazio runs down the wing with his blistering pace.

This is what I love about supporting a football club.


If you’re talking in recent terms, 27 and 32 would trump 3 and 10.

Rankings 5 and 6 in Champions of Essendon, rather than rankings 1 and 2 who stopped playing in the 50’s. Some great players have worn 10 in Bluey Shelton and Alan Noonan and then Garry Foulds and Spike McVeigh but #3 has been a tad light on.

Probably easier to think of numbers that haven’t had any of the greats in the past 50 years and even then it’s hard

8, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 29, 33, 34 etc have been a little light on but you can always think of some players who’ve worn those numbers with distinction and pride…even 17 with Daryl Gerlach.


I used to love Sheedys methods with numbers. New recruits were down the bottom and usually in the 40’s, and then if they earned a higher number after a year or two, they would elevate to a number vacated by a delisted or retired player.
Only traded players from other clubs wouldn’t be subject to this.
For example McGrath would never have been given Number 1 until it was vacated or available after playing for a couple of years.
Used to make it interesting, well it was for me lol.


Faulty logic here. A lot of that was because recruits had often spent a year or two in the 2nds wearing seconds numbers.

IIRC Clarkson was the first in the modern (post seconds football) era to start draftees low then promote them, and Hardwick followed his example.

Eg Franklin 38 Roughead 35 Lewis 40

Plenty of Essendon recruits started in smaller numbers, eg Wanganeen, Long, Lloyd, Lucas


McGrath is the fiveiest player on our list by a mile. Shouldn’t have give him 1.

I was a bit sad to see Fanta give 13 when Long was on our list, but jeez he looks good in it. It really suits.

Looking at what’s available it seems simple to me. Stringer 24, Smith 25, Saad 35 and the draftees go from there.




NB: “Numbers available: 4, 5, 24, 25, 35, 39, 40, 47”

This article, posted on the EFC website, does not include 31.

Is this an indication that 31 is not up for grabs at this point in time, or just that it wasn’t vacated this year, like numbers 42, 46 and 48?


The latter, I’d say, but with such a short period potentially between Fletch retiring and Mason being drafted, it makes sense they’d keep 31 free.


Good point.

Yeah, as Noonan has said, they may just be saving it for Mason.


Looks like Adam Saad will wear number 1.
He just changed his twitter handle from ASAAD42 to Adam Saad_1.
McGrath looks set to wear 4 or 5.
It has been remarked his game style is similar to Wanganeen so 4 could be a good fit.


I reckon changing ASAAD was a pretty conscious decision too.


Haha good point. Probably thought we would all go in to meltdown if we just skimmed an Essendon post on twitter.


He wore number 5 at the dragons too.


McGrath to five… Wowwee!


Pretty sure the no1 has been in his twitter since coburg VFL days - instagram was (and still is) the 42


announcing it?


Announcing he’s changing his MySpace username and also putting Saad into his top 8 friends.