Collingwood ruck/defender Jordan Roughead retired just a week after Bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti did the same. Roughead, 31, has not played since Round Five, his only game this year. He underwent shoulder surgery in February, then suffered a finger injury in Round Five. He said he knew 2022 would most likely be his last as he has had issues with his shoulder for several years, saying in part, "The last month or so I have spent some time thinking about when I would make the call. This is not a decision I am making because I want to but a decision I am making for my long-term health and my family as well.” Noted for his toughness and bravery, he said the game had taken its toll on him physically and he had been consulting with doctors. He also revealed that he and his wife are expecting their first child.
Roughead, the cousin of Hawthorn champion Jarryd, played 201 games over 14 seasons. He was traded to the Bulldogs at the end of 2018 where he played 63 games. He started with the Bulldogs and was a member of the 2016 premiership side, despite suffering an eye injury the previous week. In that Grand Final, he carried the ruck load for much of the match. In 2019 and 2020, he finished in the Top 10 in Collingwood's best and fairest count.
Away from the game, Roughead has been an instrumental figure across the club’s community programs, an assistant coach for the club’s AFLW side, and is also a key spokesperson of the AFL Players for Climate Action. He was nominated twice for the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award in 2017 and 2021 for his focus areas of LGBTIQA+ community, climate action, youth homelessness, and women’s sport. His efforts in his off-field endeavors were similar to his on-field commitments. Although he is retired, he will continue to support the team for the rest of the season. He was also at the forefront for tackling racism, not only at the club, but across the game.
On retiring and his career, he said, “Playing footy gave me the ability to contribute to something that was greater than just me and what I was ever going to be able to accomplish on my own. I have never been the fittest, strongest, or best kick. I found a way to squeeze all the juice out of my lemon and be a part of something bigger than myself. At the start of the year we spoke about how we were going to honor this football jumper. I spoke about how I’m going to support everyone in this room, and I was going to commit to that for the year. It is not going to stop now, and I will be here until the end of the year in some capacity.”
Collingwood GM of Football, Graham Wright, thanked Roughead for his contributions, “‘Roughy’ leaves the football program with everyone wishing him all the very best. He has been an integral part of our club, on and off the field. Roughy gave all he had, and we can’t ask for more from any player. Although he’s not going to play, he’s not lost to the program. Roughy will work across a number of areas in the football department for the remainder of the year.”
Even though it is more the shoulder issue forcing him out, when he addressed his teammates he joked that he was probably the first player forced to retire due to a finger injury.
Source: Tash Lewis, Colliongwood Media Release, dailymail.co.uk, afl.com.au
Article last changed on Monday, May 30, 2022 - 4:16 PM EDT