Sport AFL Hawthorn champ Jarryd Roughead to captain Hawks this season
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Hawthorn champ Jarryd Roughead to captain Hawks this season

Jarryd Roughead
Coleman medalist Jarryd Roughead during the 2015 AFL season. Photo: Getty
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Jarryd Roughead will captain the Hawthorn Hawks in 2017, the club announced Friday.

The 29-year-old, who declared himself cancer-free in December after having surgery for a tumour on his lip in 2015, said he was ready for the added responsibility.

“I’m honoured to be captaining the Hawks this year,” Roughead told the AFL’s official website.

“It’s an enormous responsibility but I’m ready for the challenge and can’t wait to lead this group of players.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play under one of our game’s best captain’s in Hodgey and I’ll certainly take a lot of what he has taught me into the role.

Jarryd Roughead
Roughead celebrates after winning the 2015 AFL premiership beating West Coast Eagles by 46 points. Photo: Getty

“To be backed by the players and the club, it’s a really special feeling.”

Roughead has scored 491 majors for the Hawks, making him the sixth-highest goalscorer in the club’s history. He was drafted by Hawthorn in 2004 and has gone on to play 231 games for the club, winning four flags and a Coleman Medal.

Outgoing captain Luke Hodge, who had held the role since 2010, said he was more than happy to stand aside for another club legend.

“I think Rough is the right man to lead the club in 2017.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to captain the Hawthorn Football Club but I think it’s the perfect time for Rough to take the reins.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see him grow and develop as a leader and there is no better person to lead our club in 2017.

Outgoing captain Luke Hodge says "Rough" is the right man to lead the club in 2017.
Outgoing captain Luke Hodge says “Rough” is the right man to lead the club in 2017.

“I’ve always thought I’d like to be around to help out and support my successor so I’m rapt that Rough’s appointment means I’ll have the opportunity to do that.”

The Hawks won three premierships under Hodge’s captaincy. The 32-year-old was in charge for 125 games.