Adam Simpson announces AFL retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Adam Simpson announces AFL retirement

27/07/2009 03:10:08 PM Comments (0)

Retiring Kangaroo Adam Simpson says his decision to make Friday night's AFL match against Carlton his last is selfish.

But indicative of the massive contribution he's made during his 15-year career at North Melbourne, it's more about the club.

The former captain announced on Monday his decision to finish up with home and away rounds still remaining, with North out of finals contention.

"I just think it's time, it's been a great ride, fantastic experiences and what better way to finish it than on Friday night against Carlton," said Simpson.

The 33-year-old wanted to farewell the Kangaroos faithful at home at Etihad Stadium after playing other milestone matches away.

"My 300th was in Adelaide and my 250th was in the Gold Coast so from a selfish point of view Friday night has a good feel to it," he said at a press conference, watched by his wife Nicky and three young children.

"I sat down with Crocks (coach Darren Crocker) and (football manager) Donald McDonald last week and we spoke about a number of things and I thought the timing was right and they agreed," he said.

"There's going to be opportunities for kids going forward and whether I play another three games or five games, it doesn't really matter.

"No regrets and I feel like I'm leaving the club in a really good state.

"There's a really good feel around here and I'm just looking forward to the next phase of my life."

Simpson was the last remaining active player from the Kangaroos' 1996 premiership, while he also played in the 1999 flag-winning team.

Brent Harvey, who replaced Simpson as captain this season, is now North Melbourne's sole current premiership player.

Simpson has played in all 17 matches this season, and Friday's match will be his 306th after making his debut in 1995.

He will retire just short of the club's games-record holder Glenn Archer, who played 311 and will sit equal second on that table with 1970s and 1980s champion Wayne Schimmelbusch.

In an astounding statistic, Simpson said he only missed seven games throughout his career due to injury, which he put down to a "durable body type".

He said there was no issue with his body if he wanted to continue but felt ready to pursue a career in coaching.

He intended to spend time in the coaches box for the remainder of the season, although his future role with the club would be dependent on who filled the vacant head coaching role.

"I just want to learn as much as I can off the field, and I'd love to work with the kids and get into the development side of things.

"I do have a passion for the coaching side of things but I'm starting at the bottom as a rookie."

North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw paid tribute to Simpson, saying whoever wore his number next year would be a "lucky person".

"You're talking about a person of the upmost integrity, a player of enormous courage and under-rated skill and an incredible leader.

"When you talk about the great players who have played for this club, the (Barry) Cables, the (Wayne) Schimmelbuschs, the (Keith) Greigs, the (Malcolm) Blights the (Ross) Glendinnings, into the (Wayne) Carey, (Brent) Harvey, (Glenn) Archer, I think Adam Simpson's name is very comfortably a part of that, he's one of the greats to have played for our club."

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