One of the AFL’s cult heroes, Jarryd Roughead has carved a place amongst the competition’s elite as an athletic forward blessed with excellent agilty and strong hands.
A talented junior basketballer good enough to contest several underage national championships, Roughead began to concentrate on football at 15 with immediate results.
He gained a place in the AIS-AFL Academy in 2003 after an excellent National Bank’s AFL Under 16 Championships and gained senior experience by playing for Leongatha in the Gippsland Latrobe Football League last year, under the guidance of former AFL stars Paul Hudson and Andrew Dunkley.
With 40-plus goals during the 2004 TAC Cup season with Gippsland Power, Roughead underlined his versatility and was taken by Hawthorn with pick 2 at the 2004 NAB AFL Draft.
A return of 16 games in his debut season, capped by a nomination for the NAB Rising Star, was a super result for both Roughead and the Hawks.
After a solid year in 2006, Hawthorn swung the left footer forward in 2007 with immediate success, kicking 40 goals and announcing himself as a player of the future.
In 2008, Roughead delivered an impressive 75 goals and was a vital cog in Hawthorn’s Premiership team. He began 2009 equally impressively with a career best eight goals against Carlton. Unfortunately injuries curtailed Roughead’s output for the rest of the year, but he was still able to post an accurate 51.27 for the season and played his 100th AFL game.
With an endearing demeanour and a typically country character, Roughead has remained grounded throughout his AFL success.