Jumper numbers are funny things.
Their functions are quite random.
Maybe you’re the adoring fan who sticks your favourite player’s number on your back.
Or you’re an umpire who needs that number as a means of identification to report that player to the tribunal.
Or you’re a player who has a lucky number affinity or is a bit particular about who his locker room neighbours might be.
Everyone has their own connection with jumper numbers, but let’s hope incoming duo Jonathon Patton and Sam Frost aren’t too connected to their own former numbers.
Patton wore the number 12 in each of his 89 appearances for Greater Western Sydney while Frost wore 17 across five season at Melbourne, following three seasons at the Giants as number 48.
James Frawley and Daniel Howe stand in the way of the club’s new key position pair continuing their tenure in these numbers.
So, what are the options?
There’s a few high profile numbers currently available at the Hawks, but there’s one that holds particular intrigue.
After four premierships and 283 games, Jarryd Roughead announced his retirement at the end of the 2019 season, leaving the number two vacant.
While it remains unclear whether the number will remain unoccupied for a time, be passed down to an up-and-coming youngster or entrusted to one of the club’s new recruits, it’s certainly fun to speculate.
Could Jonathon Patton pull on the number two? A fellow key forward, a high draft pick – some would say it makes perfect sense.
And following four-time premiership Hawk Birchall’s departure, could fellow defender Frost become the newest custodian of the number 14?
Frost has also shown a willingness to venture into the high numbers, with his former number 48 available if he chooses a return down that path. The pacey defender would need just 18 games in the brown and gold before he became the proud owner of the all-time record games holder in the 48.
The Hawks have precedent in handing famous numbers onto promising youngsters, as evidenced by Luke Hodge’s 15 going to Blake Hardwick, Josh Gibson’s six on James Sicily and Sam Mitchell and Peter Crimmins’ five worn recently by Ryan Burton and James Worpel.
Could the likes of Jack Scrimshaw (35), Oliver Hanrahan (41) or James Cousins (46) be set for a number change?
Time will tell. Food for thought, anyway!
Available jumper numbers currently at Hawthorn