“I was drafted one day and then the next Clarko comes in, picks me up and gives mum a bunch of flowers and says ‘I’m pretty much taking your son away’.”
“I don’t think you can really take the country out of a lot of us bush boys.” – Jarryd Roughead
The Hawthorn Football Club has been Jarryd Roughead’s home for a decade now, but for the big, laid-back lad from Leongatha, he’s still a country boy at heart.
The Hawks superstar, who was voted the competition’s third-most valuable player by AFL players across the league last season, looked back at his journey as part of Channel Seven’s #discovered series last month.
“A lot’s happened [since I was drafted]… But I’m still one that walks around in ugg boots, trackies and beanies in winter time,” Roughead says with a smile.
“I don’t think you can really take the country out of a lot of us bush boys here at Hawthorn.”
Footy clubs are full of unique characters, and while Roughead may have an affinity with the “bush boys”, it’s clear he enjoys being immersed among people who see the world a little differently to him too.
“Some of the days when it’s cold and wet and you’re driving out [to training], you might not think it’s the best, but when you get here, there are 40 blokes who come here every day… And they’re going to have a new story or some new news,” Roughead says.
“Even though it’s a job, at the same time you’ve got to become pretty good mates. Some of the kids coming in now… even though there’s a ten year age gap you can say you’re pretty good mates already.”
The #discovered feature can be viewed in full below.
‘The Big Rough’, as he is affectionately known, is clearly a popular player around the club – but developing friendships with younger Hawks impacts more than just his social life.
“It’s good because in five years’ time, a lot of us older blokes – you hate saying it because you’re 27 – might be the ones gone by then,” he explains.
“We’d like to think that we can leave a legacy where in ten years’ time when we come in for reunions and what-not, similar things are still being shown that we brought in around this time.”
The idea of leaving a legacy at Hawthorn is clearly something that appeals to Roughead, and while he hopes he has “five to seven years” left of his playing career, he has also wondered about the prospect of coaching when he hangs up the boots.
“A few of us have started to think about coaching and doing level 2 and level 3 coaching courses,” Roughead said.
“Three years ago I wouldn’t have said I could see myself as a coach at all, but I suppose the older and wiser you get, and with less hair, you start to realise that maybe this might be a job for you.”
That said, “you don’t want to pump your tyres up too much!” Roughead chuckles.
For now, as Roughead explains, “everyone [at the club] knows what the one goal is.”
“We were lucky enough to win it last year and hopefully this year we can do the same thing.”
Love the #discovered series? Check out the feature story on Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson here.