Rohan open to idea of playing in hubs if it saves jobs


He said he had discussed the issue briefly with his wife, who had a similar view as long as he wasn’t gone for too long.

“We did talk about it a little bit but obviously we can’t really predict what is going on or what is going to happen, so no point worrying about it until it happens,” Rohan said.

On Easter Sunday, just weeks after Sadie was born, the Rohans celebrated in isolation the second birthdays of twins Bella and Willow. Willow died five hours after the birth having been diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal neural tube defect the Rohans were made aware of during the pregnancy.

“It was just us, which was good,” Rohan said. “It was a nice day, Sadie was here so that was good.”

The two-year-old Bella has kept the 28-year-old forward well and truly occupied during the shutdown, so he understands how testing it would be for young families if a player or coach or football department official was sequestered to play.

The AFL is still working through the details of a concept but there is a prospect families of those involved may also be admitted depending on their circumstances, although the AFL Players Association – which is on record as being prepared to discuss any proposal with the AFL – is yet to put the idea to players as they await more details.

They are well aware that the situation facing each player is unique and accept that the reaction to the idea is likely even to be different among players in apparently similar circumstances.

Rohan said if players’ families were allowed into quarantine hubs then he would need to have further discussions with his wife, but he imagined that if the period was restricted he would leave them at home in familiar surroundings.

“Bella wasn’t sleeping for a while so we have got her in a routine. I couldn’t do that to them, we have got to keep them in a routine,” Rohan said.

Part of Rohan’s routine so far during the shutdown has been to get up no later than 5.30am each morning to complete an hour’s running at a nearby oval before Bella wakes up and the fun starts.

“It’s weird, it’s different. No one is around at that time of the day anyway. It’s hard,” Rohan said.

“I have a couple of little weights floating around but nothing too big. I couldn’t grab anything when we left. I might have to go to Bunnings to get some concrete and start making my own.”

Beyond the daily sessions he has his hands full, joking that the country music channel has been on the television all day as he tries to get his daughter into the music herself.

The TikTok video circulating on social media of Rohan doing what his teammates describe as a “hillbilly dance” to the tune of Cotton-Eyed Joe has also shown a different side of Rohan to the high-leaping, hard-chasing forward.

“It was a pretty funny,” Rohan said.

“I like to have a joke every now and again and I try to do the same thing when I am at the football club. The boys probably get sick of me but I am up and about all the time.”

He wasn’t so up and about when sitting in the crowd watching the Cats lose last year’s preliminary final after a medial ligament strain kept him sidelined. He would have been available for the grand final, too, having played a VFL match earlier that day.

“I was shattered to sit in the grandstand,” Rohan said.

“I was disappointed in myself that I couldn’t help the team and it drove me this year to have another good pre-season. I was fitter than ever and I was ready to fly into another season.”

That’s not to be, but at least the time will never be forgotten, with the newborn Sadie putting everything into perspective for Rohan.

“She is sleeping well, which is good,” Rohan said.

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