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Numbers up: What jumpers are available at your club?

AFL games record-holder Brent Harvey's iconic number 29 was retired by North Melbourne.

Numbers available: 1, 5, 6, 10, 19, 23, 32, 36

For the first time in 13 seasons, Scott Thompson's No.5 jumper is up for grabs. The contested-ball king wore the number with distinction on 269 occasions before hanging the boots up at the end of the year. Whoever takes over will need to spend plenty of time in the gym to live up to their predecessor. While he needs a few bicep curls to gain Thompson's physique, prized recruit Bryce Gibbs would be a more than worthy recipient of the No.5, going from one midfield star to another. Gibbs wore the No.4 jumper during his 231 games at Carlton, but that already belongs to Crows forward Josh Jenkins. Fellow newcomer Sam Gibson is also likely to be changing numbers, with the No.43 he wore in 130 games at North Melbourne belonging to back-up ruckman Reilly O'Brien. Jake Lever's departure to Melbourne has left the No.6 jumper – taken to God-like status during the high-flying days of Tony 'Godra' Modra – up for grabs. However, fans could be hesitant for the No.6 to go to a Victorian draftee given the messy exits of Lever and, before him, Hawthorn forward Jack Gunston.

Did you know? Only three players – Simon Tregenza, Daniel Talia and Robert Shirley – have worn the No.12 jumper for the Crows. All three have played more than 100 games. - Lee Gaskin 

Numbers available: 2, 11, 16, 17, 19, 23, 33, 34, 38, 40

The delisting of rarely-used midfielder Jarrad Jansen has opened up one of the most prized guernseys on the Lions list – the coveted No.16. The jumper was made famous by three-time premiership player, former captain and Coleman medalist Jonathan Brown, who wore it 256 times before retiring late in the 2014 season. Could it be the perfect fit for new recruit Luke Hodge? Probably not. Hodge has already been told by three-time best and fairest winner Dayne Zorko that No.15 – the number he wore his entire career at Hawthorn - is off limits. Hodge has however hinted he might like to take the vacant No.2, which could pave the way for a jumper swap with his great mate Jarryd Roughead when the Lions meet the Hawks. Josh Schache's departure opens the way for Adelaide recruit Charlie Cameron to walk straight in and grab the No.23, which he wore for 66 of his 73 games with the Crows. 

Did you know? The No.38 was worn on 154 occasions by Tom Rockliff before he elected to join Port Adelaide via free agency is the third most number of games in VFL/AFL history in that number. - Michael Whiting 

Numbers available: 4, 7, 12, 16, 18, 19, 21, 24, 27, 37, 43, 45

Carlton has a few very big jumper numbers to fill after seeing off 13 players this off-season. The first is Bryce Gibbs' No.4 jumper, which he wore throughout his 231-game career. It had strong history before Gibbs, however, given it was worn by Blues great Stephen Kernahan in his 251-game career at the club, including their 1987 and 1995 premierships. The No.7 left open by Dylan Buckley is equally as rich in history given the careers of Blues greats Wayne Johnston and Brett Ratten in the guernsey, while premiership hero Ted Hopkins also donned the number. Matthew Lappin and Adrian Gleeson were predecessors to Blaine Boekhorst in the No.12, while former Blue Eddie Betts wore No.19 in his 184 games with the Blues. Carlton's games record holder Craig Bradley's No.21 is also up for grabs for next season following the exit of Ciaran Sheehan, while No.43, the number made famous by Anthony Koutoufides through his glittering career is also available. 

Did you know? Rhys Palmer played one game in No.24 at the Blues, only three players in Carlton's long history has played more than 100 games in the number. - Callum Twomey

Who will take over the famous No.4 at Carlton? Picture: AFL Photos

Numbers available: 23, 28, 31, 34, 41, 44

The No.23 jumper has been worn by the likes of powerhouse Anthony Rocca, tough defender Craig Kelly and former captain Ray Shaw. Team of the Century ruckman Len Thompson and 1990 premiership star Gavin Crosisca had No.28. Anyone who backs themselves to repeat Phil Manassa's four-bounce goal, as he did in the 1977 Grand Final replay, would be suited to the No.31, but prospective Magpies who think they can outdo that and take seven bounces before booting a goal, as Mick McGuane did to slot the 1994 Goal of the Year, should select No.34.

Did you know? No.42 has been retired for the last 25 years after the late Darren Millane died in a car crash in October, 1991. Also, since the end of 2010 the Magpies have handed No.35 to its first draftee every year. That is in recognition of former lockdown defender Simon Prestigiacomo after he selflessly declared his injured body would not be able to withstand the rigours of either 2010 Grand Final, thus missing out on a premiership medal. - Dinny Navaratnam 

Numbers available: 4, 5, 24, 25, 31, 35, 39, 40, 47

The retirements of Jobe Watson and Brent Stanton open up two of Essendon's most famous jumper numbers. The No.4 vacated by Watson was worn by Leon Baker in the 1984-85 premierships and by 1993 Brownlow medallist and premiership star Gavin WanganeenNorm McDonald, one of the club's heroes of its dominant era in the 1940s, also donned No.4. Stanton took on the No.5 after champion James Hird retired at the end of 2007. Hird captained the 2000 flag in the number, like Terry Daniher did in the Bombers' back-to-back 1980s triumphs. A couple of the Bombers' new recruits seem most likely to take over the numbers. No.25 also has a rich history at Essendon, having been worn by premiership players Scott Lucas and Roger Merrett, and Brownlow winner Graham MossAlex Morgan's departure to North Melbourne will allow someone to take over that jumper, while Craig Bird's delisting leaves No.24 free. Midfielder Joe Misiti wore it in the Bombers' past two flags. Dustin Fletcher's 31 is also still available.

Did you know? Heath Hocking (No.39) Ben Howlett (No.40) have both played more games in the respective numbers than any other player in Essendon history. - Callum Twomey

Numbers available: 3, 5, 8, 12, 14, 17, 24, 29, 30, 39, 40, 41, 42

The Dockers need to make a decision on the availability of the No.29 worn by champion forward Matthew Pavlich in 353 games. The number was 'rested' in 2017, but the view of the club's greatest ever player was that "someone should wear it in the future". Dour defender Zac Dawson's retirement has opened up No.3, with the No.5 vacated by Garrick Ibbotson also likely to go to one of the club's two prized first-round draftees later this month. The No.8 once worn by courageous club favourite Shaun McManus is available after Nick Suban was delisted, while someone will be given the chance to make No.12 – which has never been worn by the same player for 100 games – their own after ruckman Jonathon Griffin was delisted. The shock defection of Lachie Weller to Gold Coast has opened up No.14, worn most famously by tough defender Antoni Grover (202 games). Hayden Crozier has joined the Western Bulldogs, with a new player set to snap up No.17. No player has chalked up more than Matthew 'Spider' Burton's 70 games in No.24, which is now free after Harley Balic joined Melbourne. Ruckman Zac Clarke has vacated No.30, with No.39 (Josh Deluca), No.40 (Sam Collins), No.41 (Shane Yarran) and No.42 (Matthew Uebergang) also free. 

Did you know? The vacant No.8 jumper has been worn by only two players – Shaun McManus and Nick Suban – the fewest of the numbers that have been active in each of the Dockers' 23 seasons. - Nathan Schmook 

Will Matthew Pavlich's old No.29 get a new owner in 2018? Picture: AFL Photos

Numbers available: 4, 11, 13, 15, 18, 36, 43

Unless Cam Guthrie accepts a decent bribe, returning Cat Gary Ablett won't continue his career in the hoops with the No.29 on his back. It was his for 192 games between 2002 and 2010, but he'll have to pick another number for his second stint as a Geelong player after Guthrie snapped it up on his departure. Ablett wore No.11 playing for the Geelong Falcons, and with that guernsey's latest owner Darcy Lang now a Blue, he could take Patrick Dangerfield's lead and adopt his junior jumper. If he wears 11, he'll be etched into history alongside three-time premiership player Joel Corey and the lesser-known Alex Perry, who played three games in 1959 well before his namesake got famous for designing dresses and wearing sunglasses as headwear. Numbers four and 13 are also available after the retirement of club champions Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan.

Did you know: The Cats' No.43 jumper was last worn on an AFL field by George Burbury back in round 10, 2013. Before that, you have go back to the year 2000 when Danny O'Brien wore it for eight games, with Jack Weston and Zac Bates – both untried at AFL level – also recent owners of it. - Jennifer Phelan 

Numbers available: 2, 9, 14, 18, 22, 26, 31, 32, 34, 39, 42, 48

Following a huge off-season player cleanout, almost a third of the jumpers in the Suns' changerooms are up for grabs. Undoubtedly the most coveted will be that of inaugural skipper, Brownlow medallist and four-time club champion Gary Ablett, who made the No.9 his own over seven seasons. Ablett wore the guernsey 110 times. Perhaps Fremantle recruit Lachie Weller could take it over, although the No.14 he wore for the Dockers is also available after the delisting of midfielder Mitch Hallahan. Ablett's isn't the only inaugural jumper that is now available, with Trent McKenzie (No.18), Matt Shaw (No.26) and Brandon Matera (No.32) all waving goodbye to the club after being there since its inception. Adam Saad played just 48 games at Gold Coast but was one of its most popular players, and with his trade to Essendon, the No.42 now becomes available.

Did you know? Former Sun Seb Tape played 40 games in the No.48 before he was moved on. That was the second most games by any player in that number in VFL/AFL history. Could someone take that jumper in 2018? - Michael Whiting

Gary Ablett's No.9 is up for grabs at the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos

Numbers available: 10, 15, 16, 17, 25, 34, 41, 43, 44, 50

At this stage, it's a lot of players out and not many in for the Giants, but a couple of nice numbers are up for grabs. Although he spent only two years at the club, Steve Johnson's No.17 would be a nice get for a nostalgic younger player, while a young enforcer might want to snap up Shane Mumford's vacated No.41. The Giants traded out three young players last month, with the departure of Devon Smith (10), Matthew Kennedy (15) and Nathan Wilson (16) opening up some of the coveted lower numbers. Maybe Aidan Corr (35) or Rory Lobb (37) might want to slide up the number order? Otherwise, we'll have to wait until the club's draftees come in to see who snaps up what.

Did you know? Mumford's 172 games (72 with the Giants) is the second-most ever played by someone in the No.41 guernsey. Former Brisbane Lion Matthew Kennedy holds the record with 188. - Michael Whiting 

Numbers available: 4, 6, 15, 20, 32, 38, 40

The No.4 is up for grabs following the delisting of winger Billy Hartung. Team of the Century member Paul Salmon wore that guernsey during his time at the Hawks and Andy Collins won two of his three premierships wearing the No.4 (Collins clinched another wearing No.40). The departures of Josh Gibson and Luke Hodge have left a huge hole in defence, but there's also a big void to fill the No.6 and No.15 jumpers respectively. Gibson won three flags in his, while Hodge will go down as one of the greatest captains at Hawthorn. Delisted midfielder Dallas Willsmore will have first dibs on No.20 if he is re-drafted by the Hawks as a rookie, while No.38 should be avoided. Over the last 10 years, that guernsey has been inhabited by a total of five players, three with the first name Luke. But it hasn't been a lucky number with the jumper only making a senior appearance on seven occasions over the past decade.

Did you know? Hawthorn retired its No.1 guernsey in 2011, symbolically giving it to its supporters. Ruckman Max Bailey was the last player to don the jumper. He handed it over to the brown and gold faithful before assuming No.39 for the rest of his career. - Nat Edwards

Numbers available: 4, 8, 9, 20, 27, 31, 33, 35, 41

There was much fanfare when future co-captain Jack Trengove, who was delisted in September, inherited David Neitz's No.9 as the second pick in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft. Neitz played 286 games and kicked 614 goals in the number. The man picked before Trengove, Tom Scully, took on the legendary Ron Barassi jnr's 31 in the same presentation. Jack Grimes wore it from 2013 to 2016 after Scully defected to GWS, but it wasn't used this year. Recruits Jake Lever and Harley Balic wore six and 24, respectively, for their old clubs, but both are taken. Lever may slide across to No.8, which Heritier Lumumba had during his short stint at the club. Among those to don it are 'The Wizard' Jeff Farmer, current Hawk James Frawley and Team of the Century full-back Robert 'Tassie' Johnson (202 games). Jack Watts' exit is also a major opening at No.4, given a man by the name of Norm Smith played 227 games for 572 goals in it.

Did you know? Ivor Warne-Smith won both his Brownlow Medals in No.14 (now Michael Hibberd), but wore 33 in 1919 before turning his hand to farming in Tasmania, then returning to the Demons in 1925 in the new number. – Marc McGowan

Numbers available: 1, 6, 17, 20, 29*, 37, 43

The Kangas indefinitely retired games record-holder Brent Harvey's No.29 when his playing days ended last year. That status may not change until Harvey's 13-year-old son, Cooper, who is showing some promise, is draftable. North will this year use its earliest draft pick (No.4) since selecting Lachy Hansen No.3 in 2006, so that may lead to whoever is chosen taking over delisted Hansen's No.6 next year. The number has been a lucky charm of sorts, with the past five wearers playing at least 138 matches in it, headed by Team of the Century forward John Dugdale's 248 games and 358 goals. Shannon Grant got close with 243. There is a bit of an oddity at Arden St with the No.1. No one wore it the past two seasons and Bernie McCarthy's 148 matches in it between 1962 and '71 remain the most. No.20 didn't get a run in 2017, after Drew Petrie (316 matches) departed last year. Only fellow club great Wayne Schimmelbusch (306) came close to Petrie's games tally in the number. The No.25 that newcomer Alex Morgan wore at Essendon is Robbie Tarrant's, so he will have to make a change.

Did you know? Only Hamish McIntosh (106) played triple-figure games in the No.1 out of the past 12 wearers. - Marc McGowan 

Numbers available: 6, 11, 12, 19, 23, 24, 25, 27, 35, 37, 41, 48

Prized recruits Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop and Jack Watts will be changing numbers unless they can do deals with their new teammates. You'd imagine former Brisbane Lions skipper Rockliff might have the clout to convince rookie-listed ruckman Peter Ladhams to give up the No.38 jumper if he was desperate to keep it. The same goes for Motlop and the No.32 jumper that currently belongs to young key defender Dougal Howard, however Watts might have a tougher ask to snare the No.4 jumper away from All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder. Then again, there's no shortage of alternatives. No.6 becomes available after Angus Monfries' retirement, while 12 (Jackson Trengove), 23 (Matthew Lobbe) and 24 (Jarman Impey) are up for grabs.

Did you know? The Power's captain always wears the No.1 jumper, with their original number temporarily retired on the event they play on after passing on the captaincy. For example, Travis Boak started his career wearing No.10 and has since moved to No.1. The No.10 jumper is retired until Boak hands over the captaincy, or hangs up the boots. - Lee Gaskin 

Numbers available: 7, 11, 13, 19, 20, 28, 38

The No.7 vacated by delisted half-forward Ben Lennon is the lowest number available at Richmond for 2018. Ruthless back pocket Mick Malthouse (1976-83) was the last player to chalk up 100 games in the jumper. A new Tiger will take up No.11 after defender Jake Batchelor was delisted, with heart-and-soul ruckman Ivan Maric vacating the No.20 jumper, famously worn by 'The Ghost' Jim Jess for 223 games in the 1970s and 80s. Defender Taylor Hunt leaves the No.28 after 42 games, while hard nut Steven Morris managed 87 games in the No.38. The No.19 most recently worn by mature-age midfield recruit Matt Thomas (2014-15) was not active in 2017 and is up for grabs.  

Did you know? Fiery forward Jake King is the only player to notch 100 games in the No.28, which is available for 2018. - Nathan Schmook

Numbers available: 11, 12, 24, 33, 38, 45, 46

Whoever receives No.12 will need to be able to handle pressure, with retired champion Nick Riewoldt having set a high bar for its new owner. While not quite as decorated, Leigh Montagna had a stellar career in the No.11. A couple of bookends have donned No.24 – retired defender Sean Dempster and goalkicker Jason Heatley, the latter of whom played only 63 career games but booted 73 goals in the 1997 season when St Kilda made the Grand Final. For any player who did not finish high school but fancies himself as an entrepreneur, he should take No.33. That was worn by trucking magnate Lindsay Fox, who played 20 games for the Saints, had a stint as president and runs Linfox.

Did you know? St Kilda was one of five clubs Dale Kickett played for, and he had the No.52 on his back at the Saints. It was easily the highest number of his career, having worn No.33 at West Coast, No.16 at Essendon, No.12 at Fitzroy and No.11 at Fremantle. - Dinny Navaratnam

Nick Riewoldt's No.12 is another famous number available. Picture: AFL Photos

Numbers available: 2, 11, 19, 30, 32, 33, 37*

Alex Johnson has been delisted after a career ruined by knee injuries. Sydney may pick him up again as a rookie, but if it does not, No.2 will be available. That number has been used by Greg Williams, Geelong heartbreaker Nick DavisRhyce ShawWayne Schwass and former Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton. No.11 is a huge honour at the Swans. Ex-captains Stuart Maxfield and Mark Browning had it, as did the legendary Roy Cazaly, and 1970 Brownlow medallist and also first-class cricketer Peter Bedford. No.19 has become available with Shaun Edwards retiring and should be sought after, considering champion Swan Michael O'Loughlin donned it. Any blond-haired defenders with hyphenated surnames should pick No.30, as Lewis Roberts-Thomson and David Rhys-Jones did.

Did you know? Since dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes retired at the end of 2015, his No.37 has not been used by any other player. There is no set end date for when his jumper will again become active. - Dinny Navaratnam 

Numbers available: 1, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 26, 32, 33

Some famous numbers are up for grabs at the Eagles this year, starting with the No.32 worn by Norm Smith medallist Andrew Embley in 250 games. The jumper was vacated by delisted forward Simon Tunbridge and will be hot property. Sam Mitchell's No.1 worn for one season by the champion midfielder is also back on the market. It was most famously worn by Brett Heady for 136 games (he wore No.39 in his first season). Delisted half-forward Tom Lamb has left No.10 free, given a new Eagle the opportunity to emulate the feats of premiership Eagles Michael Braun (228 games) and Don Pyke (132). The only player to notch more than 100 games in No.21 is bullocking forward Quinten Lynch, and his number is on the market again after one season on the back of Drew PetrieJonathan Giles (No.22), Sam Butler, who played a record 166 games in No.26, and Josh Hill (No.33) have also vacated their numbers. 

Did you know? Every player to wear No.3 or No.17 for the Eagles (six in total) has played 100 games or more for the club. The same goes for No.50, with Ryan Turnbull the sole tenant, notching 129 games. - Nathan Schmook

Numbers available: 2, 5, 8, 9, 13, 26, 28, 37, 41, 45

The Dogs have plenty of numbers available at the pointy end of the change room after the retirements of several veterans and the trading of Jake Stringer. Established recruits Jackson Trengove, Hayden Crozier and Josh Schache will all be looking for new numbers, as the ones they wore at their previous clubs are already taken. Even the numbers they wore in the TAC Cup aren't available. Whoever takes Robert Murphy's No.2 guernsey has a hard act to follow, with the former skipper holding the club record (311 games) for the most appearances in the jumper. He wore No.22 in his debut season but did not don it again.

Did you know? For such a popular number, recently retired Matthew Boyd is just the second player behind club great Rohan Smith to play more than 100 games in the No.5 jumper. Smith wore it 254 times, with Boyd's 224 games the next best out of the 23 Dogs who have sported it. Ryan Davidson

Some massive shoes to fill at the Dogs (and Hawks). Picture: AFL Photos

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