Gormy rapt with Roughy

Welcome Roughy: Gormandale players, officials and supporters celebrate at the Grand Junction Hotel, Traralgon after landing Hawthorn great Jarryd Roughead. photograph liam durkin



JARRYD Roughead has answered Gormy’s SOS.
The former Hawthorn champion will play a one-off game for the intrepid Gormandale Football-Netball Club in Round 10 of the North Gippsland Football-Netball League this season.
Roughead is scheduled to play for Gormandale on Saturday, June 18 against Glengarry at Gormandale Recreation Reserve.
The Tigers started 2022 on a positive note in Round 1, winning their first game in four years, but since then have suffered consecutive losses by 236, 189 and 173 points.
Roughead was secured by Gormandale as part of a promotional deal by brewing company Cartlon & United, who ran an initiative where eight ex-AFL stars were put into a pool and drafted to country clubs.
Working under the banner ‘The Carlton Draft’ (a play-on words from Carlton Draught beer), country clubs put forward cases as to why they should be chosen to have one of the eight draft picks available.
Having collected four wooden spoons in the last five seasons, Gormandale had little trouble attracting attention from those shifting through applicants.

Huddle: Gormandale members watch intently as the draft unfolds. photograph liam durkin

The Tigers were granted a pick, and submitted former Carlton and Adelaide excitement machine Eddie Betts as their first preference from the players available.
The draft was televised on Fox Footy last Wednesday night, where Gormandale players and officials gathered at the Grand Junction Hotel, Traralgon to learn their fate.
A collective ‘awww’ went around the sports bar when Betts was taken by another club, but this was quickly forgotten when the name ‘Jarryd Roughead’ was announced at Pick 5 a short time later.
The 2013 Coleman Medallist was presented a Gormandale polo shirt by Brisbane Lions great Jonathan Brown during the telecast, getting his first feel for the yellow and black.
Speaking to The Express a day after the draft, Roughead, from Leongatha, said he was looking forward to venturing back to Gippsland to help out.
“It aligned well that Gormandale picked me. It’s close to home, it’s a good chance to come back and play,” he said.
“The opportunity to come back Gippsland way, it’s just a good chance to give back to country footy and what has been a crappy two years and no one winning a flag, hopefully there will be a lot of people there.
“I’m at St Kilda (as an assistant coach) and Tim Membrey is involved at Glengarry, so I know the area quite well.”

Secured: Former Hawthorn key forward Jarryd Roughead shows off his new colours with draft commissioner Jonathan Brown. photograph supplied

With his work at St Kilda and having played a handful of games last year alongside his younger brother for Inverloch-Kongwak in west Gippsland, Roughead believed he was match-ready for the rigours of North Gippy footy.
“Being part of a footy club you still have to get out there and train so it’s not like I haven’t been touching a footy for three years,” he said.
“I’ve done a bit of research and seen that the boys (Gormandale) have been going okay this year, Churchill seem like they are the number one team.”
Gippsland was well represented in the draft with Roughead joining Traralgon’s Brendon Goddard and Drouin’s Dale Thomas.
Gormandale FNC president Daniel Earl said it was exciting to welcome a player of Roughead’s calibre.
“It is probably one of the best results we could have hoped for so looking forward to it,” he said.
“One of our fellas behind the scenes, Leigh Fabris, he does a lot of work, we all got together, wrote a letter into it and gave them our position where we’re at. It has been a struggle the last four/five years.”

Think we can find a spot for you: Gormandale Football-Netball Club senior captain Will Flanagan, president Daniel Earl and senior coach Chris Potalej are looking forward to welcoming former Coleman Medallist Jarryd Roughead for a one-off game. photograph liam durkin

Despite the recent heavy losses, Earl said morale remained high at Tigerland.
“To have three of the top four sides in a row is hard but at the same time with the younger generation around there is a good vibe around the place which is nice,” he said.
“Off the field I’m still really ramming it home to the guys (players) that we are getting a lot of things right off the field and I think they are believing in the committee and what we are trying to do and they are repaying us by showing up and supporting us.”
The support was evident by how many people were decked out in Gormandale colours at the Grand Junction to watch the draft.
Such a turnout even took this writer by surprise.
It certainly didn’t look like a club that was struggling.
It only reinforced how much supporters keep a football-netball club together.
As the days tick down, Gormandale will be hoping Roughead gives those supporters plenty to cheer about.
Now the players just have to get the ball to him.

Who will it be: All eyes are fixed on draft commissioner Jonathan Brown. photograph liam durkin
Excitement brewing: Gormandale’s Callum Bonnor, Jackson Heard and Dylan Purves watch the draft to see which ex-AFL player is headed their way. photograph liam durkin
Got him: Gormandale supporters react to the moment they found out Jarryd Roughead was making his way to the club. photograph liam durkin
In the book: Jarryd Roughead will play the Round 10 match for Gormandale against Glengarry. photograph liam durkin