Jordan Roughead’s future is in limbo
PREMIERSHIP ruckman Jordan Roughead continues to weigh up interest from rival clubs as his future at the Western Bulldogs remains in limbo.
The restricted free agent has parked contract negotiations with the Bulldogs after playing five senior matches this season due to form and injury setbacks including hamstring concerns and concussion.
Roughead was dumped to the VFL after the round 11 loss to Melbourne, just a fortnight after coach Luke Beveridge called on him to return to his best to “establish” his future for 2019.
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Playing the past four matches in the VFL, the 27-year-old is closing in on decision time with Victorian-based and interstate clubs circling.
“We have been approached by a number of clubs to gauge where he’s at,” Roughead’s agent Bruce Kaider, of One Management Group, told AFL.com.au.
“At this point we haven’t entered into any discussions of a serious nature but we understand the nature of the business and it’s getting towards the end of the season.
“Clubs are looking make moves in the free agency space because it’s highly competitive.
“We know at some point in the not too distant future we’re going to have to talk with the Bulldogs about where’s Roughy’s future is and most likely, depending on that conversation, have conversations with other clubs out of respect.”
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Roughead played 25 matches in the club’s drought-breaking premiership year before featuring in the final 13 matches in 2017 after the start of his season was delayed by a hamstring injury.
Now finding himself out of the best 22 with Tom Boyd and Tim English playing more matches this year, Roughead is no closer to re-committing to the club.
“We haven’t had any dialogue with the Bulldogs for a couple of months,” Kaider said.
“That’s been based around the fact we want Roughy to focus on football and not be distracted by contract discussions, given where he was at from a football perspective.”
Roughead has fallen down the pecking order of out-of-contract Bulldogs, with unrestricted free agents Tom Liberatore and Luke Dahlhaus at the top of the club’s priority list.
Other Bulldogs out of contract at season’s end include free agent pair Mitch Wallis (restricted) and Dale Morris (unrestricted), plus Matt Suckling, Lin Jong and Shane Biggs.
Fellow ruckman Tom Campbell also finds himself on the outer and without a deal for next year after 42 games in seven seasons, including none this season.
Roughead holds a relationship with key personnel at both Sydney and Greater Western Sydney, two clubs that will be looking to bolster their ruck stocks come October.
The Swans, who lost ruckman Kurt Tippett to premature retirement in January, welcomed former Bulldogs recruiting chief Simon Dalrymple to their ranks ahead of this season.
Dalrymple spent 11 seasons at the Bulldogs from 2007-2017, where he first started as a development coach before shifting into the recruiting department in 2010.
The Giants also landed former Bulldogs list boss Jason McCartney this season, the man responsible for Roughead’s last extension at Whitten Oval, a three-year deal in 2015.
Other clubs such as Geelong and St Kilda have changed their ruck division at various times in 2018, while Richmond will be looking to replace the retired Shaun Hampson at season’s end.
The Western Bulldogs face Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday with Boyd likely to lead the ruck division.
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS