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Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has declared Jarryd Roughead will remain with the club next season, ending months of speculation about the Hawks skipper’s AFL future.
The four-time premiership player is contracted for next season but was encouraged by Clarkson earlier in the year to explore his options.
Clarkson had similar conversations with Hawthorn stalwarts Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis at the end of 2016 which led to both players heading to new clubs.
But with the Hawks’ season over after their semi-final loss to Melbourne, Clarkson has moved to dispel any doubt about the 31-year-old’s future.
“We’ve had the discussions and he’s playing at Hawthorn next year,” Clarkson told reporters after Friday night’s game at the MCG.
Clarkson’s definitive call was in stark contrast to comments he made on the eve of the finals when he said it was possible Roughead could finish his career elsewhere.
“We’ve had exactly the same discussion with him in the last six weeks as what I had with Jordan and Sam,” Clarkson told AFL 360 last month.
“Rough’s got about six options in front of him. One is not to play at all, another is to go to another club and do what Sam and those guys have done, another is just to stay at Hawthorn.
“(And) if he stays at Hawthorn, what does that look like for him?”
Roughead was a solid performer in a losing finals campaign, booting three goals in the qualifying final against Richmond and two majors against the Demons.
The key forward cut a frustrated figure earlier in the year when speculation about his playing future reached fever pitch.
“I’m contracted for next year, so I don’t even know why I’m getting asked,” he said.
“I still feel like I have value among this group.”