Jarryd Roughead, right, turns out for Boxhill Hawks on Sunday, opposed to Reuben Williams of the Footscray Bulldogs.  Picture: Julian Smith/AAP
Jarryd Roughead, right, turns out for Boxhill Hawks on Sunday, opposed to Reuben Williams of the Footscray Bulldogs. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP

Suns coach reveals his play for Roughead

GOLD Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew has revealed the club attempted to recruit Hawthorn great Jarryd Roughead at the end of the 2018 season.

With uncertainly over his playing group, Dew made the bold attempt to bring in the Hawks key forward to help mentor and play alongside the Suns' playing group, which lost both their co-captains in the off-season.

In recent times, Hawthorn has moved on a number of their veterans, with Sam Mitchell (West Coast Eagles) and Jordan Lewis (Melbourne) leaving the club in 2016 to take on roles at other clubs as mentors. Luke Hodge followed suited and joined the Brisbane Lions in the 2017 off-season.

"I won't lie, I made a few phone calls," Dew told SEN.

"Just to inquire about what is his plans. He was clear on what this year looked like for him, but I think he was keen to stay the course and be part of that immediate handover.

"I know they've done it with other players who have left, and there's been a swift handover, but I think Roughy, even looking at the vision of him on the weekend, he's as unselfish as you get and I think that's why he's able to be in the environment still and do the handover.

"He was really keen to stay on at that footy club and it'll work out fine for him. I mean, look at his career. He's unbelievable. Not only just his footy career, but his life journey. I'm biased, but I'm not alone in those thoughts."

Dew and Roughead were teammates in the Hawks' 2008 triumph over Geelong, with the now Gold Coast Suns coach booting two goals in the grand final.

Suns coach Stuart Dew. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
Suns coach Stuart Dew. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Roughead was dropped for the first time in nearly seven years ahead of the Hawks' clash with the Giants in round eight, with the former captain bouncing back to boot five goals in the VFL on Sunday.

Roughead embraced his elder statesman status to the point of giving young Bulldogs defender Reuben William a few pointers.

Coach Alastair Clarkson has offered no guarantees whether he would return this weekend, but it appears speculation Roughead's decorated AFL career will end on 281 games is wide of the mark.

"It all depends on what's happening in the senior side and injuries (but) he's got every chance," Clarkson said of the 32-year-old.

"Five goals is a good effort ... it's perhaps a measure of the man to be able to go back and do that.

"We had a discussion on Wednesday around his omission from the side and we spoke about the importance of him carrying himself really strongly and he did that.

"That keeps him alive and in the hunt ... I dare say we're going to need him again.

"We want to use him again but it will all depend on how we're going, how our forwards are going, but everyone knows we need to search for the next generation of players for our footy club."

It's the same search that a teenage Roughead benefited from when he debuted in 2005 then saw regular AFL game time at the expense of stalwarts Nick Holland, John Barker and Ben Dixon.

"These were guys who had been pillars for our footy club, ripper fellas and ripper players, but we needed to find the next generation of players," the coach said.

"Ironically then it was Roughead and (Lance) Franklin.

"They did bits and pieces in their first two years and then they emerged as really good players."