The support for Hawthorn AFL star Jarryd Roughead stretches across the country, with West Coast coach Adam Simpson saying his thoughts are with the star forward.
A former assistant coach at the Hawks, an emotional Simpson said he was sure the popular player was up for the fight ahead of him.
Hawthorn revealed on Tuesday a melanoma, which had kept Roughead out of football for much of the 2015 season, had returned and spread.
“Obviously, he won’t be seen on a football field in a while as he battles to regain his health.”
Simpson said he had been in contact with Roughead to wish him well.
“I just sent him a text last night. To his credit, he would’ve had 1000 of those. He texted me back and said ‘I hope your family is going well’ which shows the type of guy he is,” Simpson said.
“My heart goes out to him and his family. I’m really fortunate to know him as a player and a friend as well. I’m definitely with the community on that one. It’s sad news but I’m sure he’s up for the fight.
“I’m sure it will be difficult for Hawthorn. Their approach, it may galvanise the group, but it’s really secondary. I don’t think they’ll be thinking too much about that. He’s just such a great guy.”
Simpson was at the Hawks from 2010-14 and was involved in the 2013 premiership win, before he was appointed senior coach at the Eagles.