In May last year, Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead announced to the world that he would undergo immunotherapy for melanoma, after four spots were found on his lung. The AFL world was in shock.
In December, Roughead, 29, announced that his treatment had been successful, and that he was cancer free. He then delivered a skin cancer prevention message for us all.
Then on Friday, Hawthorn Football Club delivered a really exciting piece of news. Jarryd Roughead will be captain in 2017. Which absolutely everyone reckons is a ripper of an idea.
Since being drafted by the Hawks in 2004, the power forward has played 231 games for the club, winning four premierships and a Coleman medal (leading goal kicker in the AFL). But he has never led his club, until now.
"The difference is I'm running out first and flipping a coin," Roughead joked at a midday press conference.
Early in a club statement, he adopted a more formal tone.
"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 [Luke Hodge] 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."
Hodge has been Hawthorn captain since 2010, but the midfielder is 32 now. Hawthorn also lost long-serving senior player and (and captain before Hodge) Sam Mitchell in the off-season. So there was a leadership void, and who better to fill it?
The Hawks have also elevated Liam Shiels, Ben Stratton and Jack Gunston to their their leadership group. All were voted in by their teammates.
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