JORDAN Roughead spent three years developing his trade as a ruckman with Ben Hudson at the Western Bulldogs.
On Saturday, Roughead will go head-to-head with Hudson, who is playing out his AFL career with the Brisbane Lions.
Hudson ended a four-year stretch with the Bulldogs at the end of last season.
His intention was retirement in his home state of Queensland, but that changed when the Lions approached him.
The departure of Hudson meant Will Minson and Roughead moved to the top of the Bulldogs’ rucking ranks.
Minson has taken on the number one mantle, but his controversial one-match suspension by the club this week means Roughead will now step up.
The former Lake Wendouree 21-year-old has worked his way into top form, with some AFL commentators nominating his performance in attack against Port Adelaide as a break-out game in his 27-game AFL career.
He worked well in a young group of tall forwards, which also featured Ayce Cordy and Liam Jones.
Cordy was initially expected to share rucking duties with Roughead, but that prospect changed yesterday when the Bulldogs elevated Tom Campbell from the rookie list to replace injured defender Dale Morris.
Campbell appears certain to partner Roughead.
The 20-year-old’s eventual elevation appeared inevitable given his impressive pre-season form, which he has carried into the VFL season with Williamstown.
SYDNEY coach John Longmire is confident inspirational co-captain Adam Goodes will line up against Geelong tomorrow night.
Missing the past six weeks with a quad strain, Goodes has trained well this week.
“He’s looking pretty well,” Longmire said ahead of training yesterday.
Longmire said he wouldn’t be putting any pressure on the 304-game veteran to turn the game around in his comeback match and expects the rest of the squad to maintain the standard of the past few weeks without Goodes.
“There’s no expectation for him to come into the team and dominate from the first bounce,” Longmire said.
“We know he’s a fit player, we know he can play forward, midfield and a number of roles for us, so we just expect him to come in and contribute.
“Goodesy hasn’t missed too many matches so other players have needed to step up and we’ve been able to get through that time without him.
“So those players know they need to just play like they have been the past few weeks.”