One of the AFL’s cult heroes, Jarryd Roughead carved a place amongst the competition’s elite as an athletic forward blessed with excellent agility 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 during his final junior year.
With 40-plus goals during the 2004 TAC Cup season with Gippsland Power, Jarryd underlined his versatility and was taken by Hawthorn with pick 2 at the 2004 AFL Draft. A return of 16 games in his debut season, capped by a nomination for the NAB Rising Star, was a superb 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.
2013 was a career best season, winning the Coleman medal, playing in his second Premiership with the Hawks, named in in the 2013 All Australian team and coming runner up in the Hawks Best and Fairest. In 2014 he completed another successful year with the Hawks culminating in another Premiership. There was no stopping Jarryd and the Hawks in 2015 playing in his third Premiership in a row and being named an All Australian.
Roughead missed the first half of the 2016 season with a posterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee. In May, he received news a melanoma on his lip had spread and he stepped away from football to receive treatment. Late in 2016, Jarryd received positive news and the all-clear from doctors following months of immunotherapy, and was looking to return to footy early in the 2017 season. He successfully did so, being named captain for the upcoming campaign. Roughead played 22 games, including his 250th game for the club.
Roughead called an end to a illustrious career in 2019, playing 8 games and kicking 15 goals. He will be remembered as a Hawthorn legend and huge part of their most decorated period in club history. However, with an endearing demeanour and a typically country character, Roughead has remained grounded throughout his AFL success.