Main content

Don ditches 'cursed' number after four injury-cruelled years

Dons' off-field addition set to spark change Cal Twomey and Matt Thompson bring you an update on the Essendon's pre-season

JAYDEN Laverde is hoping a change in number becomes a change in fortune after switching to guernsey No.15 for next season.   

After four injury-cruelled years in the No.33, Laverde will take on the number left by delisted small forward Josh Green.     

In a column penned on the club's website, Laverde said the switch had come about after sending a proposal to coach John Worsfold and football manager Dan Richardson.   

Looking back at my time in the No.33, I'm grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. The setbacks have taught me resilience

"My four seasons have had their fair share of injury setbacks, and even my superstitious Italian family members have mentioned that perhaps the number is a cursed one for me," he said.     

"After re-signing with the club in September, I was ready to begin a new chapter in life and footy. This meant moving out of home, having a strong off-season, and beginning pre-season with new goals and a clear mind, so a new number entered my thoughts."   

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

Laverde has managed only 30 games in four years at the club after a run of injuries, including hamstring troubles last season.     

But he finished the year with one of the best games of his career, a 3.3 effort from 17 disposals in Essendon's final round win over Port Adelaide and will be hoping 2019 is the year he can cement a place in the Bombers' line-up.   

MUST-WATCH GAMES The 22 you won't want to miss

"On the track, pre-season in the new number has started really well. I'm seeing the rewards of a big off-season, where I put a lot of work into my running and conditioning. Now that I've hit a stage where my body is in good nick, I need to keep it that way," he said.   

"Looking back at my time in the No.33, I'm grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. The setbacks have taught me resilience, while watching the boys win from the sidelines has made me want to be out there even more. When I've returned from injuries, it's felt more meaningful because of how much work I've done to get there. 

"With all these learnings holding me in good stead for my new beginnings, it's onwards and upwards in the No.15." 

Essendon will unveil all of its new numbers at its family day on Saturday, with Brendon Goddard's vacated No.9 among the numbers up for grabs.