Sport AFL Hawks star hungry for more flags
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Hawks star hungry for more flags

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Jarryd Roughead’s unfinished AFL business has morphed into a quest to help achieve the greatest Hawthorn era.

The three-time premiership player has shunned upcoming free agency by signing a two-year contract extension.

That will take him to the end of 2018, when he will be 31, and means he will end his outstanding AFL career as a one-club player.

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The Hawks are at the crest of a wave, making the last three grand finals and winning the last two flags.

While they lost Lance Franklin to Sydney in free agency’s biggest deal so far, they have topped up their list with big-name recruits such as Brian Lake, Ben McEvoy and now James Frawley.

The very last line of Playing To Win, the account of Hawthorn’s 2013 premiership, was a quote from Roughead about them having unfinished business.

Having gone back-to-back, Roughead is now talking about “a few more” flags.

Along with the last two premierships, Roughead was also part of the 2008 team that famously upset Geelong in the grand final.

Hawthorn’s golden era was the five premierships between 1983-91.

“To be able to commit for that long, but also being able to track free agency, it shows that the group can sacrifice and allow these blokes to come in and hopefully build more success,” Roughead said of his new deal.

“We’ve been lucky enough to obviously win premierships in the last few years and to win a few more over the new few years with some of these free agents coming in would be very good also.”

And Roughead says the signs so far are good for next year.

“A lot of people would say we could take the foot off the pedal in terms of training,” he told the club website.

“(But) we’ve got the right attitude at the moment with how we go about training and the standards we set are very, very good.

“This is just what we need before Christmas … it’s a very good sign.”

Roughead, one of Hawthorn’s most important and popular players, would have become eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of 2016.

He has played 207 games since Hawthorn took him with the second pick in the 2004 national draft.

Roughead won the Coleman Medal last year as the leading AFL goalkicker and has made the last two All-Australian teams.

“It’s safe to say that at 31, when this deal does expire, it might be hard for free agency,” Roughead said.

“It was a good chance for me to get it out of the way now and not have to worry when I turn 28 that I’m a free agent and all the publicity that comes with it.

“To be able to lock it away now and say that I’m here until the end of 2018 when I’m 31 is a very good thing for myself and hopefully for the footy club as well.”

-AAP

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