Sydney’s Gary Rohan has thanked the AFL community for their support leading up to his 100th game.On the eve of attaining a 100-game milestone he frequently thought he would never reach, Sydney star Gary Rohan has thanked the AFL community for their support during a difficult time.
The speedy 26-year-old utility will finally get to three figures on Saturday against North Melbourne in his ninth season.
Injuries restricted him to 27 games in his first four seasons.
A broken leg virtually wiped out two seasons and the physical hardships were compounded by the mental hurt of missing out on the Swans’ 2012 premiership.
“It’s been a very long road, one that means a lot what I’ve been through, to get to 100 games,” said Rohan, who played in the Swans’ 2014 and 2016 losing grand final teams.
“A heap of times I’ve probably thought to myself that it probably wouldn’t have happened injury-wise, especially when I broke my leg.
“It definitely shattered my confidence, but it feels much better dealing with all these downs, eventually it’s turned around and I’ve got a win and playing 100 games.”
Rohan’s ability to produce high-impact plays such as chasing down an opponent or streaking away from one, grab a big mark, or kicking a vital goal have made him a massive crowd favourite at the SCG, where he will reach his milestone.
Their support for him was evident in Sydney’s last home game, when a huge roar greeted his goal.
It was Rohan’s first game back after the news that one of his twin daughters, Willow, had not survived long after birth due to a condition called anencephaly.
Rohan said the surviving daughter Bella, had gone home on Wednesday.
“It’s been a tough rollercoaster, but we had two beautiful girls, but lucky we have one to bring home,” Rohan said.
He described as amazing the support he and his wife Amie had received from their families, and the Swans and the AFL community.
Rohan said they had been contacted by other AFL clubs and players outside Sydney.
He and his wife had found out at the 11-week stage of the pregnancy about the brain defect and spent about five hours with Willow before she died.
“It was a very memorable time that I will never forget,” Rohan said.
He has occupied a lot of different positions up forward, down back and on the wing, but earlier in his career was often reduced to cameo roles.
“Funnily enough probably half of my games have probably been as a sub, to be honest, so I’m glad that rule is out so I can actually have a (full) game,” Rohan said.
Australian Associated Press