Career : 1992-1997
Debut : Round 5, 1992 vs Sydney, aged 21 years, 194 days
982nd Carlton Player
Games : 42
Goals : 59
Last Game : Round 12, 1997 vs St Kilda, aged 26 years, 251 days
Guernsey Nos. 38 (1992-96) and 3 (1997)
Height : 192 cm
Weight : 94 kg
DOB : 7 October, 1970
Rohan ‘Woosher’ Welsh was a handy forward with plenty of football experience by the time he arrived at Princes Park in the summer of 1991-92. Picked up by Carlton at number 33 in that year’s pre-season draft, Welsh had been a schoolboy star at St Bernard’s College before spending two years with Essendon’s Under-19’s, and another two on the Bombers’ senior list, without managing a senior game.
Woosher had been released by Essendon in 1990. He crossed to VFA club Dandenong, where he quickly found a niche at full-forward. His tally of 84 goals in ‘91 won him the competition’s goal-kicking award, as well as playing in their premiership team that season, and not long afterward, a second-chance invitation to join the Blues. He was drafted with fellow Dandenong premiership teammate Paul McCormack.
Wearing guernsey number 38, 22 year-old Welsh played his first match for Carlton in April, 1992 against Sydney at Princes Park. Blues’ coach David Parkin experimented with his forward set-up that afternoon, placing Welsh and Earl Spalding in the key forward posts, and captain Stephen Kernahan in a pocket. Although ‘Sticks’ Kernahan booted four goals and Welsh two, the ploy was not a success and Sydney won by 21 points.
Carlton ended up seventh in ’92 while Welsh – who would occasionally be seen in the ruck - did enough to encourage himself and his new club. His 28 goals in 14 games were followed up by another 22 goals in 16 matches in 1993. In fact, Welsh had become our top goal kicker in Guernsey #38 with 50! Carlton finished second to Essendon after the home and away rounds that season, battling their way through to meet the Bombers again in the Grand Final. But weakened by some crucial injuries, the Blues were swamped by a switched-on Essendon team that took the flag by 44 points.
Welsh came off the interchange bench in all three of Carlton’s finals games in ‘93 and looked forward to further improvement - until the club’s end-of-season trip brought disaster. While skylarking with a couple of team-mates one night, Woosher apparently fell off (or over) a fence, damaging a knee so severely that it kept him out of senior football for two seasons.
Carlton retained him on the playing list throughout his long recuperation, which finally ended when Welsh – who had switched guernseys to number 3 – played three mid-season matches off the bench in 1997. Unfortunately he couldn’t do enough with those opportunities, and was delisted at the end of the year.
After bidding farewell to the Blues, Woosher was cleared to VFA club Frankston. He spent two seasons as a key forward with the Dolphins (coached by 1987 Carlton Premiership hero, David Rhys-Jones) then hung up his boots for the last time in 2000 to begin a notable coaching career in his own right.
From 2002 to 2004, Welsh was assistant coach of the Calder Cannons in the elite TAC Cup Under 18 competition. Encouraged by the Cannon’s head coach (and TAC Cup legend) Robert Hyde, Woosha won the position of coach of the Oakleigh Chargers in 2005, and proved his capabilities in the best possible way the following year.
The Chargers won the TAC Cup Premiership in 2006, and Rohan Welsh was honoured with the Coach of the Year award. He would coach the Chargers for four years from 2005 to 2008.
In 2008, AFL Victoria appointed Rohan Welsh as its new Victoria Metro Under-18 Academy Head Coach. Welsh recently completed four successful years with the Oakleigh Chargers FC, as the Head Coach, and had been an assistant coach at Calder Cannons. Rohan will replace another Ex Blue in David Dickson in this role, whose tenure spanned 12 successful years.
Rohan Welsh ventured into senior coaching by taking charge of VFL team Casey Scorpions from 2013 to 2014. Welsh was then appointed the backline coach at St Kilda from 2015 to 2017 before taking over the reins as forwards coach for 2018, he was released at the end of 2018 by the Saints.
Rohan is the son of ex Essendon player John Welsh who played 9 games for Essendon between 1961 and 1963.
Career Highlights1992 - Best First Year Player Award
1996 - 4th Reserves Best & Fairest