North Melbourne's 10 new recruits have been allocated their guernsey numbers for the 2024 season, while hard-nosed midfielder Hugh Greenwood has revealed the reason he is switching numbers.
The numbers 23, 46 and 43 remain vacant as the Roos gear up for their campaign, with room on the list for one further addition, potentially via the pre-season supplementary selection period or next year's mid-season draft.
Check out who will be wearing what, as each player sets out to add to his number's storied history.
Hugh Greenwood – No.1
Having worn North Melbourne’s famous No.18 for his first two seasons in royal blue and white, Greenwood has swapped for a number closer to his heart.
Greenwood revealed he had requested the No.1 as a tribute to his mother, Andree 'Onny' Greenwood, who died in 2017, nine years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
"When mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her life goal was to make every second count, and she started a fundraising campaign called 'Seconds Count'," he told NMFC Media.
"So the idea is whenever I come into work each day and see the No.1 in my locker, or whenever I pull the No.1 on, it reminds me to make every second count."
The Tasmanian wore No.20 in his first season at Adelaide and No.21 in his first season at Gold Coast, and later switched to No.1 on each occasion.
The last player to put his name on the No.1 locker was Hamish McIntosh, a towering ruck and two-time All Australian who wore the number in 106 of his 107 games as a Roo from 2005 to 2012.
Champion Les Foote made the same switch as Greenwood for the 1948 season before captaining the team to its first VFL/AFL Grand Final in 1950, and Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan wore the number in the 1977 premiership win.
The number was last worn by Jack Mahony, who was delisted in October but has since won another opportunity with the Suns.
Zane Duursma – No.7
North Melbourne’s second pick at the 2023 national draft and the fourth overall, Duursma follows Harry Sheezel (No.3), George Wardlaw (No.6), Luke Davies-Uniacke (No.9) and Will Phillips (No.29) as first-round selections to have been entrusted with historic numbers.
Duursma wore No.9 for Gippsland Power and Vic Country, but with Davies-Uniacke the incumbent, has taken the locker vacated by Shinboner great Jack Ziebell, who wore the No.7 in 270 of his 280 games.
A blonde, high-leaping forward with a 189cm frame, Duursma may well take up the former captain’s role of recent seasons, and rotate through the centre to effect as Ziebell did in his prime.
Champion forward Jock Spencer wore the number from 1948 to 1957, a span in which he became the first Roo to boot 10 or more goals in a match. He finished with 475 goals, a club record that wouldn’t be toppled until the 1990s.
Dani Laidley wore No.7 in 99 games, including the 1996 Grand Final victory over Sydney, and would later coach the club from 2003 to 2009. She was followed by dual premiership player and current West Coast men’s coach Adam Simpson, who wore it in the 1999 triumph.
The late South Australian champion Russell Ebert also wore the number in his sole season at North Melbourne in 1979.
Colby McKercher – No.10
McKercher takes over from Ben Cunnington, who wore No.10 from his first game in 2010 to his memorable final match in August.
A no-nonsense inside midfielder with a devastating ‘don’t argue’ and a right boot that far outperformed its reputation away from Arden Street, Cunnington was the cornerstone of North Melbourne’s midfield throughout his career.
A regular ball-winner who pairs precision with acceleration, McKercher will give the number a different inflection, with Wardlaw, Phillips, Davies-Uniacke and skipper Jy Simpkin feeding it out to him.
Having earned his stripes over four games in No.58 and 13 in No.46, Anthony Stevens went on to wear No.10 in another 275 games, including the 1996 and 1999 premiership victories, and captained the club in 2002 and 2003.
Ruck Barry Goodingham wore the number in 158 games from 1967 to 1975, culminating in the club’s inaugural Grand Final victory.
Dylan Stephens – No.15
Having worn No.3 over his four seasons with the Sydney Swans, Stephens will settle in the mid-teens at Arden Street.
A hard-running wing from Mildura in Victoria’s far north-west, he will hope to become the first player to have worn the number in 100 games since Malcolm Blight, and the first to play in a premiership since Winston Abraham.
A Hall of Fame Legend, Blight took the number when he signed from South Australian club Woodville for the 1974 season. He went on to play in two premierships, win the Brownlow (1978) and Coleman (1982) medals, and lead the club’s goalkicking on four occasions.
High-flying forward Abraham wore No.15 from 1998 to 2001, having previously worn it over three seasons with Fremantle, and went on to win Mark of the Year in his first season as a Roo and a premiership in his second.
A fitting comparison could be Nick Dal Santo, who was similarly signed for his pace, stamina and kicking, and wore No.15 in North Melbourne’s runs to preliminary finals in 2014 and 2015.
The jumper was last worn by Daniel Howe, who retired in October after one season with the club and eight with Hawthorn.
Zac Fisher – No.16
Fisher has swapped the No.25 he wore at Carlton, made famous by Alex Jesaulenko and Brendan Fevola, for the number following Stephens’ at North Melbourne.
Don Condon was the first to reach triple figures in No.16, having worn it for all of his 131 games and 218 goals from 1944 to 1951.
Ruck-forward Stephen McCann was the next. He played in the 1977 premiership at just 19, and went on to 226 games and 201 goals in blue and white.
Mathew Capuano wore No.16 in the 1996 and 1999 premiership triumphs, before tall Leigh Brown took over the locker on his way to 118 games from 2003 to 2008.
Blanketing full back Scott Thompson was the next in line, having swapped out his No.37 after Brown’s departure for Collingwood; he finished with 241 games, a Syd Barker Medal and one All-Australian nod.
At 179cm, Fisher represents a parting with an unintentional custom, the former Blue expected to bring dash and dare to the Roos’ line-up.
The number was last worn by Aiden Bonar, a former first-round pick for Greater Western Sydney who lined up for North Melbourne in 28 games from 2020 to 2023.
Riley Hardeman – No.17
The fifth of North Melbourne’s first-round selections in the 2023 national draft, the West Australian is among the fortunate few to step straight into their preferred numbers.
The No.17 was most famously worn by Allen Aylett, a champion onballer who represented the Roos in 220 games from 1952-64 and won three consecutive best-and-fairests before his revolutionary stints as North Melbourne president and later the VFL president.
Dual premiership coach Denis Pagan wore it in the majority of his 120 games as a player from 1967 to 1974, as did forward Graham Melrose, who unfortunately missed both the 1975 and 1977 Grand Final triumphs with injuries.
Utility Glenn Freeborn was the last to taste success in No.17, with his three goals in the second term of the 1996 Grand Final having charted the Roos’ course to victory.
It was last worn by Lachie Young, who played in 35 games over 2021-22 before he fell out of favour in 2023.
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Wil Dawson – No.18
A two-metre prospect from Gippsland, Wil Dawson has taken the locker most recently occupied by Greenwood.
Tom Allison wore No.18 in 106 games from 1963 to 1970, and his son Brett went on to play in 219 games and two premierships, though he set out on his own path in No.33.
The younger Allison often shared a forward line with Wayne Carey, among the most dominant players of his generation given his unparalleled contested marking and ability to get up the ground and find the ball.
With the No.18 on his back, Carey went on to play 272 games, boot 727 goals, captain the club to two premierships and consistently thrill spectators at the Roos’ then-home at the MCG.
The next player to make an impact in the No.18 was Shaun Atley, a dashing and dependable back flanker and ball-winner who featured in 234 games from 2011 to 2021.
Paul Feltham also wore the number in six of his seven seasons at Arden Street, and was among the best in the 1975 Grand Final win with 25 disposals and a goal.
Taylor Goad – No.22
Emerging South Australian ruck Taylor Goad takes on the number last worn by Todd Goldstein.
Goldstein is one of just six players to have represented North Melbourne in 300 matches, and is one of the defining rucks of his generation along with Max Gawn.
Mark ‘The Fridge’ Roberts was the last to bring up triple figures before Goldstein. A reliable forward, he wore the number in 125 games including the 1996 Grand Final.
Another tap ruckman, Mick 'the Galloping Gasometer' Nolan represented the club in 107 games from 1973 to 1980, and was an important player in the 1975 Grand Final.
Other memorable figures to have worn No.22 are Pat Kelly, who donned it in each of his 104 games from 1945 to 1955, and towering ruck Matthew ‘Spider’ Burton.
Bigoa Nyuon – No.28
‘Biggie’ Nyuon has jumped nearly 20 numbers, from the No.47 he wore in his only game for Richmond to the No.28 vacated by Kayne Turner.
A respected clubman, Turner served up memorable finals performances as a pressure forward early in his career, and was an important voice in the backline over recent seasons.
Byron Pickett began his career in No.28 as a defender where he won the 1998 Rising Star award and played in the 1999 premiership. 'Choppy' then kicked 77 goals over his final two seasons as a Roo, before he moved on to Port Adelaide, played in another premiership and won the Norm Smith Medal.
Gary Farrant wore No.28 in the 1975 Grand Final – his final game – followed by former AFL chief executive officer Andrew Demetriou, who wore it from 1982 to 1987.
Toby Pink – No.32
Like Nyuon at Richmond, Toby Pink was assigned No.47 over his three seasons with the Sydney Swans. This time he’ll pull on the No.32 he most recently wore for Glenelg as the Bays secured the 2023 SANFL premiership.
Having crossed from Essendon under the 10-year-rule, Barry Davis took the No.32 he wore in two premierships with the Bombers, and went on to captain North Melbourne to its first.
Shaun Smith, father of North Melbourne Women’s player Amy, wore No.32 over his six seasons and 47 games from 1987 to 1992. Amy has chosen to go her own way in No.15, however.
Albert Mantello remains the only North Melbourne player to have hit triple figures in the No.32, though his most profound impact is as one of the administrators who helped to secure the club’s first two premierships and ultimately, its long-term viability.
For a spell in the early 2000s, the guernsey was also in the care of cult figure and entertainer Digby Morrell.
The number was last assigned to Jacob Edwards, who wasn’t able to break through for a senior appearance in two and a half seasons at Arden Street.
Finnbar Maley – No.39
Rookie recruit Finnbar Maley has taken the No.39 last worn by half-back flanker Flynn Perez, who was delisted in October after four seasons and 24 games.
The only player to have his name on the locker - an honour reserved for those who have played 100 games, won a premiership or won a club best-and-fairest - is Leigh Harding, who came from the rookie list to cement a place as a small forward and later a utility over 10 seasons and 141 matches.
2024 AFL Player Numbers
1 - Hugh Greenwood
2 - Jaidyn Stephenson
3 - Harry Sheezel
4 - Aidan Corr
5 - Curtis Taylor
6 - George Wardlaw
7 - Zane Duursma
8 - Bailey Scott
9 - Luke Davies-Uniacke
10 - Colby McKercher
11 - Luke McDonald
12 - Jy Simpkin
13 - Darcy Tucker
14 - Liam Shiels
15 - Dylan Stephens
16 - Zac Fisher
17 - Riley Hardeman
18 - Wil Dawson
19 - Griffin Logue
20 - Nick Larkey
21 - Callum Coleman-Jones
22 - Taylor Goad
24 - Tom Powell
25 - Paul Curtis
26 - Tarryn Thomas
27 - Miller Bergman
28 - Bigoa Nyuon
29 - Will Phillips
30 - Charlie Comben
31 - Josh Goater
32 - Toby Pink
33 - Brayden George
34 - Jackson Archer
35 - Charlie Lazzaro
37 - Cooper Harvey
38 - Tristan Xerri
39 - Finnbar Maley
40 - Eddie Ford
41 - Blake Drury
42 - Kallan Dawson
44 - Cameron Zurhaar
45 - Hamish Free
46 - Robert Hansen Jnr