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Roughy notches half-ton

Bob catches up with Roughie for his 50th Bob Murphy sat down with young defender Jordan Roughead this week, ahead of his milestone 50th game. They talked about what it means to pull on the Bulldogs colours and Roughie's transition to the backline.
Jordan Roughead of the Bulldogs in action during the 2013 AFL Round 15 match between the GWS Giants and the Western Bulldogs at StarTrack Oval, Canberra on July 06, 2013. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Jordan Roughead of the Bulldogs in action during the 2013 AFL Round 15 match between the GWS Giants and the Western Bulldogs at StarTrack Oval, Canberra on July 06, 2013. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)

He has called Whitten Oval home for the past five years but Jordan Roughead still pinches himself knowing he is playing for the Western Bulldogs - the team he has supported all his life.

On the eve of his 50th career game, the 22-year-old said the significance of wearing Bulldogs colours  — even when just training — is not lost on him, nor is the opportunity to brush shoulders with his childhood idols daily.

“It’s a great place to be. It’s a Club I’ve always loved, I’ve always followed – it’s an absolute privilege,” Roughead said.

“As a fan you know the hard times that the Club has been through and you know what it means, or what it should mean, to pull the jumper on whether it is game day, whether it is training.

“To be playing now with some guys that I idolised a bit as a kid is something that I still pinch myself every second day, that I am actually out here running around with the boys.”

This season he has been in closer contact with the heroes of his youth in Dale Morris, Adam Cooney and Robert Murphy, while holding down a key post in the back six.

“It’s something that is a bit different for me – the last time I played in the back line was the under 13s, so it’s changed a bit since then, it is a little bit of a higher level,” he joked.

“I feel like I am more a part of the team than I have been in the past, which is great and to be working with guys like Rohan Smith and Matty Scarlett… it has helped me fast track my development a little bit.”

Roughead currently ranks fourth in the competition for one percenters and first at the Bulldogs in the stat – meanwhile he has taken more marks than any other player at the Club this season and is placed second in contested marks.

Roughead is excited by the progressive steps the Club is making even if it doesn’t appear that way externally.

“It’s what [members and fans] don’t see… it’s the guys that are working hard in the gym and working hard out on the track to get better,” he said.

“What I love about the club is the direction it is moving, internally we know what we are about and hopefully we can translate that a bit on field in the last eight weeks of the season and get some better results than we have.

“I am hopeful that I will be here for a while and will be able to see some of the guys develop and play in a team that gets a bit of success for this great Club.”