The Australian Football team comprises of 18 players but teams usually keep extra three players on the bench as substitutes during the game. Teams can substitute players at any point during the match through the means of an interchange gate at the front of both sides of the bench. The players are usually deployed in five lines with each line having three players. They are arranged in accordance with their positions from the left, right and centre facing the direction of the opposition.

The players in Australian football are usually arranged in this position:

  • First line– to include the Left Forward Pocket, Full Forward, and Right Forward Pocket
  • Second line – Left Half Forward, Center Half Forward, and the Right Half Forward
  • Middle Line − Left wing, Center wing, and Right Wing
  • Fourth line − Half Back, Center Half Back, and Right Half Back(Right)
  • Fifth line − Left Back Pocket, Full Back, and Right Back Pocket(Right).

Position of the players

The players whose role is to follow the ball are called followers. Their position names are known as Ruckman, Rover and Ruck-rover. These players are allowed to move around the field freely unlike other players. The difference between Australian Football football and the regular football game is that the Australian Football doesn’t have goalkeepers.

The role of the Ruckman in the game is to oppose the opponent’s Ruckman to get the ball. The Ruckman can oppose his opponent at centre bounces during the start of the match. The Ruck-Rover, on the other hand, takes over the ball when the Ruckman taps down the ball. The Rover stays around the centre-bounces to receive the ball from the Ruck-Rover to complete the clearance.

Since there are no goalkeepers in the game, the Full Forwards are the players that prevent a goal from being scored and restrict a ball to a particular area. The Half Forwards set up the scoring opportunities and they also trap the ball in their area. The Centerline players pick up the ball from the back line to prepare for a goal. The Half Back players retrieve the ball from the back line to pass on to the Forwards. The Full Back players pass the ball to the Forwards in the match.