STAR recruit Dylan Shiel will take over the No.9 jumper vacated by former Essendon captain Brendon Goddard, while the Bombers have given draftee Noah Gown the huge honour of wearing the No.32 guernsey made famous by club greats Tim Watson and Barry Davis.
Essendon announced the jumper numbers for its post-season recruits and draftees on Saturday morning at the Melbourne Showgrounds, with former Fremantle ruckman Zac Clarke set to wear No.20 while draftees Irving Mosquito, Brayden Ham and Tom Jok will don 22, 33 and 46 respectively.
FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game
The Dons won a four-club battle for Shiel's signature after the 2017 All Australian midfielder sought a trade home to Victoria after playing 135 games in seven seasons with Greater Western Sydney. Only foundation skipper Callan Ward (156) has played more games for the expansion club.
In assuming the No.9 jumper, Shiel is following in the footsteps of dual All Australian Goddard – who announced his retirement last week after playing 129 of his 334 career games with the Bombers – 1984 premiership tagger Shane Heard, 2000 flag hero Adam Ramanauskas and star 1950s wingman and official club Legend Greg Sewell.
FUTURE PICKS Who you should barrack against in 2019
But of this year's new Dons, Gown inherited the most revered Essendon number.
Watson, the father of retired club captain Jobe, wore No.32 in 307 games for the Bombers and remains one of the club's all-time greats.
An explosive ruck rover who was a regular goalkicker, Watson played in the powerhouse 1984 and 1985 premiership teams and came out of retirement to be part of the 'Baby Bombers' flag team of 1993. He was also named in the All Australian team three times, won four club best and fairest awards and was captain from 1989-91.
CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?
Davis played 218 of his 289 career games for Essendon in the No.32, and as a brilliant running defender was a key member of the 1962 and 1965 premiership teams.
A three-time best and fairest winner with the Bombers, he won a further two club best and fairests after crossing to North Melbourne in 1973 and captained the Kangaroos to their first premiership in 1975.
Clarke chose No.20 after wearing No.30 in 101 games for Fremantle, a jumper worn most famously at Essendon by premiership players Hugh Torney (173 games from 1933-43) and Ted Fordham (128 games from 1961-69).
Mosquito was Essendon's first selection in this year's NAB AFL Draft at pick No.38 overall after Hawthorn opted not to match the Dons' bid and claim him as a Next Generation Academy selection.
TOUGHEST DRAW? Champion Data ranks every club
Mosquito's No.22 jumper was most notably worn by three-time premiership player Gordon Lane (131 games from 1940-49) and 1984-85 premiership hero Billy Duckworth, who swung the 1984 Grand Final after being moved into attack in a performance that earned him that year's Norm Smith Medal.
Ham assumes the No.33 jumper vacated by Jayden Laverde, who has switched to No.15 in a bid to change his bad run of luck with injury.
The number was also previously worn with distinction by 1984-85 premiership wingman Glenn Hawker, 2000 flag forward Blake Caracella and 2004 All Australian defender Adam McPhee.
WHO SMASHED IT? Your club's draft verdict
Jok joined the Dons via pick No.8 in the rookie draft and gets the chance to follow in the footsteps of new teammate Mark Baguley, who wore No.46 in 28 games before switching to No.12 ahead of the 2014 season.