Jarryd Roughead celebrates the 2013 premiership. He’s set for game 200 this weekend.
LEONGATHA’S own Jarryd Roughead will run out in the Hawthorn jumper for the 200th time this Saturday night against the Sydney Swans at the MCG.
From his first game in Round 3, 2005 where he kicked two goals in a two point loss to Essendon, Roughead has not looked out of place on the AFL stage.
He has booted 406 goals in an impressive career as a 193cm, 100kg mobile key forward for the Hawks since being chosen with pick two in the 2004 AFL Draft.
Ahead of his milestone match, Roughead said he hadn’t thought about it too much.
“I suppose it will be a pretty good achievement when you look back on your career,” he said.
“To be able to consistently play around 20 games a season will be a good thing to look back on.”
But Roughead did not expect the success that has come for Hawthorn when he first walked through the doors.
“We were a pretty poor club in terms of what was going on in the place,” he said.
“There was no real stability, only a CEO Jason Dunstall and a few staff members down at the old Glenferrie oval.
“When you look at the professional clubs now, we were far from elite back in those days.”
Roughead was appointed vice-captain in 2011 and has enjoyed holding the position.
“We’re lucky enough that we’ve got heaps of good leaders,” he said.
“We’ve built up a good culture over the last 10 years.”
A two-time premiership player, Roughead speaks fondly of Hawthorn’s successes on grand final day.
“The first grand final was a blur. We weren’t expected to win and we were just better on the day,” he said.
“Last year it was more of a relief after losing the year before as we were probably the best side of the last two years.
“Those two days were pretty good cause of the fun you had after.”
The 27 year-old has showed that he is not slowing down this season, booting a career-best eight goals against West Coast in Round 12 at Aurora Stadium.
Roughead took his game to another level in last year’s premiership season, winning the Coleman Medal and gaining his first All-Australian selection.
He kicked 72 goals in a return to form after a serious Achilles injury in 2011 slowed him down a little.
Although his partner in crime Lance Franklin has left the club for a lucrative deal with Sydney, Roughead has no ill feelings.
“I was lucky enough to get drafted with a bloke and get close with him playing premierships together,” he said.
“You can understand why he would leave with an offer like that.”
Despite the current landscape in the AFL with free agency deals, Roughead hopes to stay in Hawthorn colours when his contract comes up for renewal in 2016.
“I’ll be 29 when my contract ends so hopefully they still want me,” he said.
“I never see myself leaving and ideally I’d like to stay as a one club player.”
Roughead does not forget his roots and he returned to Leongatha recently for a number of clinics at local schools.
He was happy to pay a visit to his old primary school, St Laurence O’Toole Primary School.
“I always get support and well wishes from back home,” he said.
“It’s good to see a couple of us like Dyson Heppell playing good footy.”
Many of Roughead’s family and friends will be in the stands for the milestone match on Saturday including girlfriend Sarah Dunn and his parents Michael and Sherrill.
“The good thing is it falls on a Saturday night at the MCG which makes it a bit easier for family,” Roughead said.
But you won’t see him running through the Hawks’ banner.
It is known that Roughead is not a fan of banners and is always one of the last Hawks to run out onto the ground.
“We never had them growing up so I don’t know why we need them now,” he said.
“It’s a massive game for us and we lost to them earlier in the year.
“It’s 1st v 3rd, so we want to make sure we win it.”