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CJ makes his move

Razor Ray drops in Umpire Ray Chamberlain joined the Hawks at Sunday's open training.

A new season brings new opportunities for players to change their jumper numbers.

For some, they might see it as merely something worn on their back – out of sight and out of mind.

But for others, inheriting a new number can be a whole lot more symbolic.

This pre-season the Hawks returned the number one guernsey to the locker room, with Harry Morrison adopting the jumper made famous by his premiership-winning godfather Ken Judge.

Gallery: Water park action 

While James Worpel, the lovable, blond, hard-at-it midfielder, had the right credentials to take on the number five jumper of yesteryear’s Sam Mitchell and Peter Crimmins.

Changkuoth Jiath is another Hawk who will wear a different guernsey in 2019, moving from 43 into 29.

After Will Langford departed the club at the end of the season, the number 29 lay vacant.

Jiath, or ‘CJ’ as he is affectionately known around the Ricoh Centre, was determined to pounce.

CJ lived with Hawks great Russell Greene and his family throughout his debut season at the brown and gold.

Greene, a three-time premiership Hawk, wore the 29 jumper throughout each of his 184 games for the club.

“I obviously have a great connection with the Greene family after I lived with Russell and Roxy for the year last year,” Jiath said.

“I didn’t really hesitate in taking the opportunity to wear Russell’s number given how supportive and important him and his family were to me last year.

“Being able to wear the number 29 now is very significant for me.

“They really helped me last year and they are such a nice family.”

Having shown glimpses of a hard-running, combative defender in his debut season, the 19-year-old, who was a member of Box Hill’s premiership winning team, is now setting his sights on taking the next step.

“I think, towards the back half of last year, I was able to put together some pretty good footy so I’m just hoping to keep pushing and hopefully get a game at some point in the year.

“My goal now is to attack the season with as much momentum as I can.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs