Jarryd Roughead during a recent Hawks training session at Waverley.
Jarryd Roughead during a recent Hawks training session at Waverley. Quinn Rooney

Roughead to lead Hawks in season 2017

AFL: Jarryd Roughead will captain Hawthorn in 2017 in an extraordinary leadership handover.

Returning from a season out due to cancer treatment, the 29-year-old will take over from Luke Hodge with Liam Shiels and Isaac Smith to be his vice-captains.

It has been an off-season of change at Hawthorn with club greats Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis traded away while Tom Mitchell, Ty Vickery and Jaeger O'Meara were brought in.

It caps an emotional 12 months after Roughead took time away from the game for cancer treatment after it spread to his lungs.

"I'm honoured to be captaining the Hawks this year," he said.

"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.

"To be backed by the players and the club, it's a really special feeling."

Roughead, drafted at No.2 in 2004 has played 231 games for the club and won four premierships and a Coleman Medal.

Hodge captained the Hawks to three premierships in 125 games in charge - the fourth most in club history.

The former No.1 draft pick had been captain since taking over from Sam Mitchell in 2010 and said the time was right for a fresh face to lead the Hawks.

"I think Rough is the right man to lead the club in 2017," he said.

"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.

"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."