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AFL NEWS: Pies shock as defender retires, rumours swirl of rival club's bid for Walker

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27th May, 2022
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Collingwood key defender Jordan Roughead has announced his retirement, after 201 games for the Magpies and Western Bulldogs.

An ongoing shoulder problem, as well as a finger injury which restricted him to just one game in the first ten rounds of 2022, is the reason for the 31-year old’s decision to hang up the boots.

“Coming into this season I knew that it was likely to be my last. I’ve had an ongoing shoulder issue for the last few years and knew at some point I would have to make a decision,” Roughead told Collingwood media on Friday.

“The last month or so I have spent some time thinking about when I would make the call. This is not a decision I am making because I want to but a decision I am making for my long-term health and my family as well.”

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Roughead made his name as part of the Western Bulldogs’ 2016 premiership team, in which he was a crucial figure as a mobile ruckman.

He famously played despite suffering a serious eye injury in the Dogs’ thrilling preliminary final win the week before, taking a crucial mark in the club’s drought-breaking win.

After being traded to Collingwood for the start of the 2022 season, Roughead transformed into the Pies’ main key defender, allowing intercept markers Jeremy Howe and Darcy Moore greater freedom.

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In 63 games for the Magpies across three and a half seasons, Roughead finished in the top ten in the club’s best and fairest in 2019 and 2021.

Roughead has also been influential off the field, serving as an assistant coach for the Pies’ AFLW team, as well as a major spokesperson for the league’s Players for Climate Action initiative. His work advocating for LGBTIQA+ groups, climate change, women’s sport and youth homelessness saw him twice nominated for the AFL’s Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

“‘Roughy’ leaves the football program with everyone wishing him all the very best. He has been an integral part of our club, on and off the field,” Pies football general manager Graham Wright said in a statement.

“Roughy gave all he had, and we can’t ask for more from any player.

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“Although he’s not going to play, he’s not lost to the program. Roughy will work across a number of areas in the football department for the remainder of the year.”

Roughead departs the game with an unfortunate record: the most home and away games (193) without a single Brownlow Medal vote.

Jordan Roughead of the Magpies.

Jordan Roughead of the Magpies. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Rumours swirl of rival club’s shock bid for Tex

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Adelaide spearhead Taylor Walker could finish his career elsewhere, according to a report from Triple M’s Chris Dittmar.

According to Dittmar, the 32-year old, who has kicked 18 goals from seven games after missing six games across late 2021 and early 2022 for a racial slur, has been offered a two-year deal from a rival ‘in the premiership window’.

“I can tell you there‘s a club chasing Tex Walker right now, two-year deal,” Dittmar said on Triple M Breakfast on Friday morning.

“I’ve got this from a reliable source, I’ve got this from the right place.

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“There’s a club in the premiership window … because they need a big marking forward like him, they think, to get over the line.”

Co-host Mark Ricciuto, the Crows’ football director, was blindsided by the comments.

“If your reaction is that you think it’s accurate, I’ll be on the phone as soon as this bloody break is over!” Ricciuto said.

Walker has won the Crows’ goalkicking in each of the past three seasons. He will miss the club’s clash with Geelong this weekend after entering the AFL’s health and safety protocools.

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