ESSENDON'S list of jumper numbers will stretch into the 70s for the NAB Challenge to cater for the club's new recruits.
In another unusual element of an unprecedented situation, the Bombers top-up players will be wearing some unfamiliar numbers during the pre-season series.
The group of 13 fill-in players is made up of recently delisted AFL players from rival clubs as well as a handful of players listed by the club's VFL team.
The players who had already signed on with the VFL squad were previously given jumper numbers, meaning top-ups Marcus Marigliani (No.47), James Polkinghorne (50), Aaron Heppell (51), Josh Freezer (54), Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (55), Jordan Schroder (56) and Sam Tagliabue (58) will have lower numbers than the batch of higher-profile players.
Former Saints midfielder Clint Jones will wear No.72 having worn No.4 in his past five seasons at St Kilda.
Mitch Brown (No.73), Mitch Clisby (No.74), Jared Petrenko (No.75), James Magner (No.76) and Sam Michael (No.77) round out the new numbers.
Should any of the players in 70-plus jumpers feature in the home and away season, AFL historian Cameron Sinclair notes it would be the first time a player has worn a guernsey in the 70s.
The highest registered number ever worn is 82, by Richmond's Ernie Taylor in one game in round 10, 1925.
In total, 10 players have worn a number 60 or higher, but the second-highest jumper number was 65, which was worn in one game by Collingwood's Andrew Witts in round 15, 1985.
Eight players have worn the number 60 across AFL/VFL history.
ESSENDON TOP-UP PLAYER NUMBERS
47 – Marcus Marigliani
50 – James Polkinghorne
51 – Aaron Heppell
54 – Josh Freezer
55 – Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
56 – Jordan Schroder
58 – Sam Tagliabue
72 – Clint Jones
73 – Mitch Brown
74 – Mitch Clisby
75 – Jared Petrenko
76 – James Magner
77 – Sam Michael