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Freo legends to present player numbers to 2017 draftees

Tom Fee  December 1, 2017 2:22 PM

Shaun McManus and Garrick Ibbotson will present the player numbers to Freo's 2017 draftees.

Shaun McManus and Garrick Ibbotson will present the player numbers to Freo's 2017 draftees.

Fremantle Life Members Shaun McManus and Garrick Ibbotson will present the player numbers to Fremantle’s exciting 2017 draft class on Friday.

A past captain and one of Fremantle’s favourite sons, McManus will hand his former playing number to Andrew Brayshaw, who will become the third player to wear the no.8 for Freo.

On top of McManus’s 228 games in no.8 from 1995 to 2008, the number was also worn by fellow Life Member Nick Suban for 156 games from 2009 to 2017. 

McManus has often spoken passionately of the love he still has for the Fremantle jumper, which he first wore in round five of the 1995 season against Footscray at the Western Oval. 

He was co-captain for 43 games between 2000 and 2001 and played his last game in round 18 of the 2008 season in Fremantle’s Western Derby win against West Coast at Subiaco Oval.

Ibbotson, who announced his retirement in August after 177 games for Fremantle, will present his former no.5 to Adam Cerra.

Inducted as a Life Member at the 2015 Doig Medal, Ibbotson was originally allocated the no.35 at Fremantle from 2007 to 2008 and played 157 games in the no.5 from 2009 to 2017.

With 177 career games, Ibbotson has played the 12th most games for Fremantle, making his debut for the club in round 11, 2007 against Richmond at Subiaco Oval.

Cerra will become the sixth Fremantle player to wear no.5, joining Ibbotson, Todd Ridley, Daniel Parker, Anthony Jones and Ryley Dunn.

Both Brayshaw and Cerra have the potential to form the next generation of elite Fremantle midfielders, with the talented prospects taken at picks no.2 and no.5 respectively in the 2017 NAB AFL National Draft.

McManus and Ibbotson were also on hand to allocate player numbers to all members of Fremantle’s bumper draft crop.

Midfielder Mitch Crowden has been allocated the no.12, joining the likes of Jon Griffin (56 games), Brad Dodd (50 games) and Graham Polak (67 games) in that number.

Key forward Hugh Dixon will wear the no.17, previously worn by Hayden Crozier for 69 games between 2012 and 2017, as well as the likes of Hayden Ballantyne for eight games and Adam McPhee for 25 games.

Midfielder Tom North will wear the no.24, previously worn by Matthew Burton for 70 games from 1995 to 1997.

New ruckman Lloyd Meek will wear the no.30, a number previously worn by Zac Clarke for 101 games.

Sam Switkowski, Scott Jones, Bailey Banfield and Stefan Giro will all sit next to each other in the change room, allocated numbers 39, 40, 41 and 42 respectively.

While Banfield will be the first to use the no.41 locker at Fremantle’s new training facility in Cockburn, the locker is adorned with the name of Life Member Paul Duffield, who played 171 games in no.41 from 2006 to 2015.

Fremantle CEO Steve Rosich said the no.29, worn by six-time Doig Medallist Matthew Pavlich for 353 games from 2000-2016, has not been allocated to a player for the 2018 season.

“We made the decision last year to ‘rest’ number 29, worn by Matthew with great distinction in his 353 games for Fremantle,” Rosich said.

“We did consider allocating number 29 to a player for next season but have decided to hold off for another year.”

2017 Draftee Numbers
5 – Adam Cerra
8 – Andrew Brayshaw
12 – Mitch Crowden
17 – Hugh Dixon
24 – Tom North
30 – Lloyd Meek
39 – Sam Switkowski
40 – Scott Jones
41 – Bailey Banfield
42 – Stefan Giro