Simpson quits as Kangaroos skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Simpson quits as Kangaroos skipper

05/11/2008 08:10:45 PM Comments (0)

Adam Simpson is content and relieved he is not the last captain at AFL club North Melbourne.

Simpson announced he had stood down after five years in the role.

The onballer admitted there were times during his tenure that he wondered if the financially-troubled Kangaroos had a future.

While the battle is far from won, a year ago they rejected the AFL's offer of a relocation to the Gold Coast and last week returned to a membership-based club.

Australian captain Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Brady Rawlings and Daniel Pratt are the leading candidates to take over from Simpson, with an announcement likely by the end of the month.

"It was pretty tough, because you're always thinking about the survival of the club," Simpson said.

"We've just about got over that horizon, from my point of view.

"We've still got a lot of work to do, but there was a period there when winning meant survival and I don't think some of the leaders from other clubs have that pressure.

"It was never put on me personally, but you just feel that being an older player and the captain ... you don't want to be the last captain at the footy club."

Simpson needed shoulder surgery at the end of the season and stood down from the captaincy two days ago.

He is still recovering from the operation, struggling out of his club jacket at the end of the media conference, but expects to be back in training by Christmas.

Simpson said the club's poor end to the year nearly made him want to stay captain.

But he will turn 33 next February and next season probably will be his last.

Simpson, who has played 288 games since his 1995 debut, did not want to suffer the same fate as Melbourne captain David Neitz, who had to retire mid-season this year because of injury.

"It's pretty tough when you get to my age and you've got that responsibility as well," he said.

"Sometimes you've got to put a bit of work into yourself in terms of preparation and training as well.

"We've got a couple of leaders who I reckon might be ready - so I thought `why wait'?, instead of making a tough decision perhaps mid-year."

Coach Dean Laidley said North would stay with one skipper and added Simpson had done a great job in preparing the players who will contend for the captaincy.

"All the evidence will be there in front of the club, the coaches, the players and I'm sure the whole club will pick the right person," Laidley said.

"For me he's been a wonderful support, super - he hasn't missed many games of footy.

"The biggest thing for me is he's educated people underneath him ... he's done a pretty good job."

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