Twenty-first Century Names

by Dave Nadel

There’s no footy and the cricket is one sided and so lying on the beach I wrote the following piece of doggerel. I stress that it is doggerel, it doesn’t even scan. It should not be classed as poetry – there is a Magpie supporter who writes poetry for the almanac but his name is Haiku Bob not Dave.

I started thinking about the first names of modern footballers. I grew up barracking for a Collingwood side that was full of players named Bob and Bill and Mick and Ron (alright there was one player named Thorold but he was an exception). Today’s footy teams are full of players with first names that appear to come from American soap operas. Yes, Collingwood does have a couple of Alans and a couple of Johns but they are well and truly outnumbered by “Opera” names and “novel” names, e.g. Rookie Tristan Francis is the Magpies second Tristan this decade (his predecessor was known as “Tex”) and star backman Heath Shaw is at least the third Heath to play for Collingwood in recent years. Heath’s Dad and Uncle are named Ray and Tony whereas his brother is Rhys and his cousin (Tony’s son) is called Brayden.

The poem was written from the 2009 list and includes the since delisted Shannon Cox. I haven’t included 2010 players because it doesn’t help my case. All the Pies 2010 draftees had Biblical names, Luke, Ben, Josh and Simon, while the first two rookies had the old Anglo names Tom and Jack. The third Rookie, a 24 year old Basketballer named Seamus and called Shae would have fitted into my poem but he actually is an American, which gives him an excuse for the name.

Twenty-first Century Names

There’s Jarrad and Jarryd
And just to be different, Sharrod,
And Dale and Dane and Dayne,
And Shannon and Sean and Shane
Few teams now have a Brian
But the Pies, like most teams, have a Ryan
We have Tarkyn, and Travis and Tyson,
Which doesn’t quite rhyme with Tristan,
Jaxson’s spelling is quite unreal,
But his name is no stranger than Steele
Heath Shaw is almost a geographical description
And Brad Dick may well be a medical condition
Surnames for first names are often on
Like Scott and Scott and Cameron
Still, apart from Brent, the rest of the names
Have been heard for decades at Football Games


  1. Tony Roberts says

    A bit better than doggerel, Dave – it actually develops a reasonable rhythm. To make it proper doggerel, you need to insert afinale something along the lines of: ‘There is no joy in Pieland…’

  2. i really enjoyed reading that.
    i have to say i love how Jaxson spells his name and i’m also obsessed with the name Tarkyn! :)
    Yes, plenty to love about the Collingwood boys! :)

  3. Peter Flynn says

    In 2010 there is not one Peter on an AFL list.



  4. Peter Flynn,

    You will be pleased to hear that Collingwood drafted Peter Yagmoor this year. So there will be at least one Peter on a 2012 AFL list.



  5. Peter Flynn says

    We’re back.



  6. The Handicapper spent some time working at the Northern Hospital. Ask her about kids’ names north of Thornbury.

    South of Thornbury you have Cassiuses and Hugos, but they are unlikely to be drafted, seeing their days out involved in mountaineering and in search of a partner with whom they can share a hyphen.

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