Jordan Roughead’s AFL premiership medal may glitter around his neck but the reality of the Western Bulldogs fairytale victory still hasn’t sunk in.
“I was saying to my partner Bridget the other day that it doesn’t feel like anything’s changed,” Roughead said.
“I just feel like I’m still going to work everyday and my work is to win games of footy.”
The 25-year-old ruckman was back at his former school, Damascus College, on Wednesday to address the final whole school assembly of 2016.
He spoke about what he learnt from his time at school – including being school captain in 2008 – and what he’d discovered in the eight years since he left.
In that time, he has nearly completed an International Business degree and is involved with the charity group, Ladder, where he does one-on-one mentoring with young homeless youth.
Over the past two years, he has mentored three young boys.
“It’s about being a friend for them and advocating for them.”
“Even if I win another three premierships, nothing will ever come close to this one.”Jordan Roughead
Roughead said the charity, which hopes soon to have a Ballarat arm, was a “passion of mine” after he was introduced to it by former Bulldogs players Lukas Markovic and Ed Barlow.
“You learn a lot when you finish school but school gives you a good platform for that.
“I don’t use algebra and arithmetic in my everyday life but this school was a great support to me.
“The school, along with my parents, made me see how important education was.
“Here you can celebrate success, whether it’s in the arts, performing arts or technology, and explore who you want to be.”
Roughead said he was also touched by the support Ballarat showed him in the lead-up to the AFL grand final, especially due to an eye injury he sustained in the preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney that threatened his chances of playing.
“People who I haven’t been in contact with for years got in touch with me. Ballarat really got behind the Bulldogs.
“I’ve had so many messages of congratulations I’m still trying to reply to them all.
“I’ve had a chance to sit down and read the footy media lately and I can now gauge how much it does mean to people.
“Even if I win another three premierships, nothing will ever come close to this one.”