So, the announcement that one of the biggest leagues in the world was on hold made me take notice. We’d connected, everyone in that room, in a different way. How can you play footy without a crowd? A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. Even those of us who aren’t great at maths worked it out pretty quickly. Photo: AAP Image/Rob Prezioso, Jordan Roughead felt anxious in the lead up to Round One. We were playing. “The only unfortunate part for me, like all key-position players, is that our game revolves around physical contact, and obviously we haven’t been able to train that aspect.”, Roughead tells of experiencing so-called reverse culture shock. Fox Footy LIVE returns today from 12pm with Anthony Hudson, Dermott Brereton, David King and Mark Robinson. “It felt like the light at the end of the tunnel was so far away. ''Most people are doing things that could be construed as going the extra mile,'' says Roughead. “But we’re not crying poor,” he said. The Chief Medical Officer gave us all the government position. Roughead is an ambassador for Stand Up, whose mission is to eradicate homophobia from sport. “I’m going to transition into a life where hopefully I can still be involved in the cut-and-thrust of competition, but I won’t miss footy every single day of my life.”. So after training and a tune up, we waited. For him, it was partly an academic exercise, partly spiritual. Others were held on the netball court, in open space. So it was a challenge to connect in different ways, using different senses. The pair compare notes on their fields, both built around performance, both dependent on crowds, now lacking for both. June 1 is my end of the tunnel at the moment, and I’m working towards ensuring I’m ready for it, along with my teammates and colleagues who love this game. Beforehand, our GM of football gave us an update from the league. In my mind, sport had always found a way to transcend what was happening in society around it. Jordan Roughead with Louie and Bill the Bulldog. As I left, a couple of football department staff and coaches were heading in. “I thought that’d be cool, to be involved in organising a global event staged in Australia,” he said. When it comes, for all his wide world view, you can’t imagine Roughead performing a random act of kindness towards, say, Jack Riewoldt. Jordan Roughead with Louie and Bill the Bulldog.Credit:Joe Armao. Some of which had been at the club well over 20 years. If you miss the show, catch up on Kayo. “Most people are doing things that could be construed as going the extra mile, but they hadn’t identified it, and certainly didn’t want to be recognised for it. Some of those invited didn’t attend, they’d been told by their club that they weren’t allowed, other guests weren’t there because they had cold and flu type symptoms. It’s what we’ve done since we were kids playing local footy. Some were held outside, in the drizzle. The other 95 per cent is looking forward to getting back to the footy club, and and back on the field.”. Tom Holland photographed in a Catalan t-shirt, Neymar made the world team of 5 players. He says his attitude has fluctuated. They do everything in their power to make us better players on the field, and better people off it. And we definitely wouldn’t need 500 people in the stadiums to make the game work. The group dynamic mattered. We hadn’t had much success in getting any on our last few trips to the shops, but lucked out on our morning walk. And that the position of the AFL was that players should take a 20 per cent pay cut to cover a portion of that loss. ''Most people are doing things that could be construed as going the extra mile,'' says Roughead. Some were players, some laid-off staff members keen to maintain a connection with the club. I don’t think we, as players, are above this. That AFL spending on programs had been cut; no Auskick, no Community Cup, no grassroots funding. “I’m looking forward to playing a part to create a sporting world where everyone feels accepted and comfortable as themselves,” he said. He’s doing a few hours a day of work for his mum’s company. People who thought they had great job security in a strong industry have found themselves unexpectedly in line at Centrelink. We walked down the race and into the rooms, where it was raucous. Shaking hands, holding babies and running autograph stations or footy clinics. I rearranged the house, in anticipation for the home gym delivery. “Bridge and I live just around the corner from the MCG. This hiatus has made Roughead sure of two things. All the Time in the World to Cook. A skeleton crew of eight people have been charged with running the club until we can all return. At 9:50am I logged into the meeting room. Photo: AAP Image/Michael Dodge, Dan Hannebery gets close to fans after the Saints’ pre-season win over the Magpies. I didn’t sleep well, due mostly to the disappointment of the previous day. My anxiety wasn’t about catching the virus and becoming ill. Leagues and teams had always found a way to keep going, to push on, and to bring people together. Here’s my experience of how it’s unfolded. He thought he might pique the curiosity of four or five at Collingwood, but immediately 45 messaged him. The local cafe is doing takeaway coffee, and we want to support them because we know it’s already getting tough for them. Jordan Roughead with Louie and Bill the Bulldog. Unable to work in schools or footy clubs right now, the times are pinching the group hard, but have not dampened Roughead’s devotion. We’ve got a good thing going. And, it’s what the games last weekend missed. It was about becoming an asymptomatic carrier of the virus and passing it onto a parent, a grandparent, or anyone with a pre-existing condition who could become seriously ill or die. I saw Sarah Rowe, one of the Irish girls from our AFLW team, who was organising a flight back home. The standard logistical nightmare of having 60-odd people in a virtual meeting was apparent. He told me that there was a footy department meeting at 1 o’clock, and an admin staff meeting after following that. No crowds. She said she was doing alright, and followed up with ‘see you in October, or maybe never’. When the coronavirus curtain came down on footy, Collingwood player development manager Chris Dixon sent around a list of online university courses players might consider in their confinement. Really, we just want to know where we stand. So, I just thought it was worth seeing if they needed any. Another friend suggested that it might be the night we look back on and say, ‘we probably shouldn’t have gone to that’. One day recently, Collingwood defender Jordan Roughead bought coffees for himself and his wife Bridget at his local cafe and paid for coffees for the next five staff members who came in from nearby Epworth hospital. In 2018, he listened as Gold Coast Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie spoke at the end of the Games and was inspired. A staffer at Collingwood left out a card and a carton of beer for his garbageman. All players talk about it. Jordan Roughead of the Bulldogs and his partner Bridget Davies arrives ahead of the 2017 Brownlow Medal at Crown Entertainment Complex on September 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. But you know you’re working with 21 of your close mates, with a cause. “Much as it’s made me realise how much I love playing football, it’s also strengthened my non-athlete identity,” he said. Fortunately for us, the game went according to plan. Or are they not worth the paper they’re written on? Still, it hadn’t really clicked with me what was happening. In footy, charity begins at home, does a quick lap and ends there. He thought he might pique the curiosity of four or five at Collingwood, but immediately 45 messaged him. “But we’re not crying poor,” he said. It was why he thought twice about this story. Round one. “I’m looking forward to playing a part to create a sporting world where everyone feels accepted and comfortable as themselves,” he said. By our calculations, if Queensland secures the 2032 Olympics Games, Roughead will be 42, prime executive age. “It’s made me realise I’m going to be OK once I can’t play football any more. On the line was Collingwood coach, Nathan Buckley, calling from an off-season sabbatical in Italy to confirm that the Pies were going to trade Roughead in on a two-year contract. The prospect of playing up until Christmas to get a season in has been broached, as has the potential to condense the season if the postponement continues. Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. This is also known as Online Behavioural Advertising. The Magpie who is getting a kick out of kindness. After the phone conversation with Buckley, Roughead headed off for a break in the US to "put my feet up for a few weeks'', taking in a diverse range of activities from NBA and NFL matches, to Broadway shows and some opera, two of performance artist Bridget's passions. That it was inevitable there would be a break in the season at some point. “Early on, I struggled to get going with training,” he said. One is the future. Ninety per cent of the football department staff had been stood down until the season recommences. It took Roughead’s attention. The pair compare notes on their fields, both built around performance, both dependent on crowds, now lacking for both. “The task was to go out and once a day perform a small act of kindness to see what impact it had on you, and to understand why,” he said. These were not mere and unrelated whims. People around me are desperately sad and have been thrust into a world of uncertainty, but still have mouths to feed and payments to make. One day recently, Collingwood defender Jordan Roughead bought coffees for himself and his wife Bridget at his local cafe and paid for coffees for the next five staff members who came in from nearby Epworth hospital. “One day, I was looking through the gates, and you could see the turf, and I was thinking, 'I cannot wait to be out there'. We live in a bubble, we’re selfish, and we are losing the PR battle. I don’t think we, as an industry, are above this. They had guests from multiple football clubs, and the night had a strange air. These were not mere and unrelated whims. What made these conversations difficult is the connection we have with the staff. Magpies v Bulldogs. In aligning with government policies, all our review meetings looked a little bit different. We wondered what impact a decision to play would have on attempts to ‘flatten the curve’. It’s not easy working from home as an athlete. Bridge and I are still getting up early to walk the dogs. The other is the here and now. I can’t wait.”. “I thought that’d be cool, to be involved in organising a global event staged in Australia,” he said. How do we help those around us when we’re really unsure ourselves?