Four-time premiership hero Jarryd Roughead is back at Hawthorn after walking out on St Kilda in December last year.
With the Saints going through a dramatic period of change under coach Ross Lyon, the 36-year-old — who had held various roles during his time at the Saints — made the call to leave just before the Christmas break.
7NEWS understands that Roughead’s new role at Hawthorn will be full-time and focused on list management, in particular trade and free agency.
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He joins his former teammate Sam Mitchell, who took the senior coaching reins from premiership mastermind Alastair Clarkson in a messy handover at the start of 2022.
The Hawks are going through a hard reset under Mitchell and have only won 15 games in the past two seasons.
As well as Mitchell, Roughead will work alongside another old teammate in David Hale (assistant coach) and former Carlton champion Kade Simpson (defensive coach).
Jarryd Roughead has returned to the Hawks after his time at the Saints. Credit: Getty Images
Brett Ratten – who was an assistant during the Clarkson era and was coach of St Kilda when Roughead was there — is also back at the Hawks as head of coaching performance.
Roughead — a star forward for the Hawks — called time on his glittering AFL career after playing 283 games and booting 578 goals.
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He joined Saints immediately after his retirement in 2019 and had various roles there, including mentoring and assistant coaching.
Hawthorn are hoping to climb up the ladder this year following a slow decline under Clarkson. They have not appeared in the finals since 2018 after winning three flags in a row between 2013 and 2015.
After finishing sixth bottom in 2022, they were third last at the end of 2023, but showed encouraging signs, including a shock win over reigning premier Collingwood in Round 21.
Star midfielder James Worpel said on Monday the team was “definitely” intent on moving up the ladder.
“We haven’t put a limit on anything we can achieve,” Worpel said at the club’s pre-season camp in Torquay.
“We’ll take each week as it comes, and see how we go.
“The thing about our list is that a lot of our players have played between 50-100 games now so we are getting to more experience and games into young fellas.
“I think you’re going to start seeing a lot more consistent performances from us this year.”