If you want your son to be an AFL star, give him one of these names.

It takes a lot to play for an AFL team. Superb ball skills. An incredibly high level of fitness. The ability to belt out the club song totally off-key. Oh, and maybe the right name might help a bit, too.

So how can you choose a name for a child that will boost their chances of becoming an AFL star?

Here at Mamamia, we have done some rigorous scientific analysis (um, so we have looked up two lists and squinted at them for a while). By comparing the names of the players currently playing for the 18 AFL teams with the list of most popular boys’ names at the time of their birth, we have come up with some startling conclusions.

First of all – and okay, this is not so startling – most footballers currently playing in the AFL have pretty typical names for guys of their age: Tom, Sam, Jack, Matt, Josh, Ben, Dan or Jake. In fact, it averages out to almost two Toms for every team. So far, so normal.

But beyond that, there are some names that turn up more often than you’d expect in a randomised sample…

Jarrod. Or Jarrad, or Jarryd, or Jared. It doesn’t matter what the spelling is, this name appears to significantly increase a boy’s chances of becoming a champion footballer. How many famous Jarrod/rad/ryd/eds do you know who aren’t footballers?


Anything Irish. Yep, guys with Irish-sounding names – Patrick, Sean, Conor, Liam, Ciaran, Declan – seem to have an advantage on the field. (Or it could just be that being Irish is an advantage.)

Just make sure you don’t pick something bogan, OK? (Post continues below.)

A unisex name. Boys called Taylor and Jordan are more likely to excel at football than boys who aren’t. There’s a point in there somewhere.

Darcy. Sharing a name with Jane Austen’s greatest romantic hero seems to inspire a young man to spend his weekends tearing around a muddy oval. It averages out to a Darcy for every two teams.

Mark. Statistics show that a boy named Mark is slightly more likely to make it to the top in the AFL than a boy who is not called Mark. Logical, isn’t it? Who doesn’t want to hear their name shouted out: “Spectacular mark!”

Kade. A name of uncertain origin, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it had something to do with “kicking” and “goals”. Another footballing classic.

So, next time you pop a bub out, think about his sporting prospects, yeah?