Defiant Roughead fires back at critics
HAWTHORN captain Jarryd Roughead has returned serve over speculation about his AFL future and is adamant about playing next year.
The four-time premiership player is irritated about addressing his future, given he is contracted for next season.
In a wide-ranging media conference on Tuesday, the star forward also said he is open-minded about staying captain next year.
Roughead fronted the media after several weeks of talk about his AFL future. He was testy at times, dead-batting the inevitable opening question about his playing future.
"I'm contracted for next year, so I don't even know why I'm getting asked," he said.
But he quickly opened up about his circumstances.
"I understand it's a part of the game, I'm a realist, too," he said. "When you get to 30-31, these questions are going to come, no matter who you are.
"I'm not too concerned. As I've said … I'm still contracted for next year, I still feel like I have value among this group."
Asked if he had spoken to Clarkson in the last couple of days about his future, Roughead said there was nothing to discuss.
But Roughead immediately brought up Clarkson's readiness to make the call on veteran teammates Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Luke Hodge.
"It's probably a little bit different in our situation with our footy club because in the past, we've seen players move on, whether it be Hodge, Lewy, Mitchell who go to other clubs," he said.
"It's a question you guys will ask because it's happened in the past." Remarkably, Roughead has not missed a game since he returned from his 2016 cancer battle.
"In footy terms, I'm probably in credit," he said of his comeback. Roughead added circumstances will decide if he stays captain next season. "It's up to the group, really - if they vote me in, then yeah, I'd be happy to do it,"' he said.
"But at the same time, understanding where the club's at and what may need to happen, we'll just deal with it when we have to."