followers n : a group of followers or enthusiasts [syn: following]
- Plural of follower
Followers is a term given to a group of playing positions in the game of Australian rules football.
Also known as the on-ball division, the followers consist of three players - a ruckman, ruck rover, and rover. They are known as followers because they have traditionally been used as players that follow the ball all around the ground, as opposed to playing in a set position (although with modern Australian rules football, there is a decreased emphasis on set positions. That said, followers do cover much more ground than any other player on the field).
The ruckman's job is to contest with the opposing ruckman at centre-bounces that take place at the start of each quarter or after each goal, and at stoppages (ie, boundary throw ins, ball ups). The ruckman usually uses his height (typically players are over 195 cm tall) to palm/tap the ball down so that a ruck rover or rover can run onto it.
The ruck rover's job is to be directly beneath the flight of the ball when a ruckman taps the ball down, allowing an easy take away, or clearance, from a stoppage. Typically players are not as tall as the ruckman, typically ranging from 170-190cm in height.
The rover is a player who lurks around centre bounces and stoppages to receive the ball from a ruck rover and complete a clearance. Rovers are typically the smallest player on the ground, with one of the most famous rovers to play the game being Tony Liberatore, who was noted for his determination and toughness.