JARRYD Roughead will try and add the final piece to what has been an amazing season when Hawthorn takes on Fremantle in the AFL grand final on Saturday. A premiership medallion will be the perfect way to end what has been a remarkable season by the former Leongatha junior. It is a season which has seen Roughead claim the Coleman Medal as the league’s leading goal kicker and receive his first All-Australian honour last Monday night. The 26 year-old was among a group of 12 players selected in the coveted team for the first time, named in the forward pocket after kicking 68 goals throughout the home and away season.
In a career-best season this year, Roughead was named in the All-Australian team along with teammate Sam Mitchell. One of the game’s most versatile players, Roughead has enjoyed the season in the forward half but also in the midfield and ruck. He averaged 3.09 goals per game, 16.3 disposals, 4.6 marks and 2.4 clearances a game throughout the season. Although it has been a season of individual brilliance, Roughead and his Hawks teammates will feel unfulfilled if they do not claim the ultimate prize on Saturday. But, as he and they learnt last year, grand finals are not easily won and they face a Dockers outfit hell-bent on creating their own unique history. The 26 year-old fronted the media on Saturday morning with teammate Lance Franklin, fresh after their thrilling five-point win over Geelong on Friday night. The Hawks trailed by 20 points at three quarter time but stormed home kicking four goals to one to book its grand final position. “There was a grand final at stake so we knew that we had to come good in that last quarter and we did,” Roughead said.
The pair said there would be no mention of last year’s loss against the Sydney Swans. “The whole group has changed a fair bit around here and we don’t want to be remembering losses, some of the boys didn’t even play in the grand final last year,” Roughead said. “We want to make their experience of this week a very good one and build their confidence up so hopefully on Saturday we are all right to go,” Roughead said. “We will get out there this week and do what we have been doing all year.” Roughead was asked if he was frustrated at his own form on Friday night which was down on his usual output with 11 disposals and kicking zero goals one. “Not really, Harry Taylor is a pretty good player, but in saying that if I had a quiet day and we still won, I’m going to take that any day of the week,” he said. “It means there might be a little more upside next week.” Saturday will be Roughead’s third AFL grand final after the 2008 premiership and last year’s loss to the Swans. Speaking four weeks ago after winning the Coleman Medal, Roughead touched on his desire to add to his 2008 medallion. “A premiership medal is what you play footy for,” he said. “After what happened last year, it’s been a long 11 months. Nineteen wins and three losses is good, but it counts for nothing now.” Roughead was officially presented with the Coleman Medal by 1982 winner of the award, Malcolm Blight last week.