Old man Roughead leading AFL's Hawks

Nov 19, 2017 - 11:23 PM On the first day of Hawthorn's full pre-season, Jarryd Roughead admits being confronted.

Not only was it November, an unseasonably early start for the AFL heavyweights, Roughead looked around and noticed something.

"I'm the oldest," the 30-year-old said.

"That is scary because all these young kids seem to be catching up pretty quick.

"There's a lot of youth here now ... with the faces we're used to seeing around the place, it's a different feel."

Roughead isn't the oldest player on Hawthorn's list; 35-year-old Shaun Burgoyne takes that honour.

But Burgoyne was missing on day one of the Hawks' pre-season, like Jack Gunston, due to his participation in the international rules series.

Cyril Rioli was the other absentee from Monday morning's session, granted indefinite leave by the club as he helps his father recuperate from heart surgery.

Despite the early start and his lack of youth, Roughead wasn't complaining.

"It's been a long time (since pre-season started in November) but in saying that it's pretty exciting because you look at the weather here today and everyone's in shorts and a t-shirt and pretty happy to be back," he said.

"We didn't want to have that long break because of not playing finals but we're back here today and everyone seems to be ready to go."

The start date for their pre-season might have changed but Hawthorn's approach to the draft, which takes place on Friday, hasn't.

The Hawks, perennial trade players, will again be one of the latest starters in the draft after using 2017 selections to secure talent last season.

Their first pick is No.43, an improvement on last year when they selected Harry Morrison with their first selection at No.74.

Roughead said their lack of teenage talent coming in would be offset by the return of premiership stars Grant Birchall, Ben Stratton, James Frawley and Rioli -- who all missed large chunks of 2017.

"I'm really not sure what we're after (in the draft but we've got) five or six blokes coming back from injury mainly in our defence from last year," he said.

"That's the recruitment we're looking at in our list at the moment."

Source: AAP

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