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Kouta: Simmo can play 300

Simpson prepares for huge milestone Carlton Media's Emily Angwin caught up with Kade Simpson ahead of his 250th game.

Anthony Koutoufides, the last man to run out in game No. 250 for the Carlton Football Club, will be there on Sunday when Kade Simpson achieves the milestone.

And Koutoufides, the man who chested the 250-game banner ten seasons ago, believes 'Simmo' will make it to the 300-game mark in the grand tradition of John Nicholls, Bruce Doull, Craig Bradley and Stephen Silvagni.

“I can see him easily getting to 300. He can do it, one hundred per cent,” said Koutoufides, who will be on hand at Etihad Stadium when Simpson runs out against Port.

“I don’t see him slowing up. He’s a smart player, he reads the play well, he finds space all the time and he’s still quite damaging. I don’t see any reason why he can’t go on.”

Simpson followed Koutoufides through the latter’s 250-game banner, prior to the opening round match of 2006 (Sunday, April 2) – co-incidentally captain Marc Murphy’s senior debut – against Melbourne, at the same venue at which Simpson makes his 250th senior appearance against Port Adelaide at the weekend. 

Anthony Koutoufides (far left) runs out for his 250th game alongside Kade Simpson. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

By then, Simpson was three seasons into a senior league career, having had his name called with Carlton’s first selection at 45 in the 2002 national draft – and it’s worth noting that of the 44 players named beforehand, only 10 - Brendon Goddard, Daniel Wells, Jarrad McVeigh, Andrew Mackie, Jay Schulz, Will Minson, Tom Lonergan, Daniel Merrett, Sean Dempster and Jobe Watson - are still going around. 

Koutoufides, a feted member of Carlton’s 1995 Premiership team, recalled the timing of Simpson’s recruitment in what was the worst possible moment in its history. As he said: “‘Simmo’ never knew Carlton as the true powerhouse it was in the past”.

“‘Simmo’ came to Carlton in an era when there wasn’t success and there weren’t as many leaders around as when I first came in. Isn’t it magnificent that the club is now heading in the right direction and he can experience it,” Koutoufides said. 

Anthony Koutoufides enjoys a win in his 250th alongside debutant Marc Murphy. (Photo: AFL Media)

“‘Simmo’s’ been an unbelievable player for Carlton. He’s exceeded the expectations of everyone, particularly when you consider that he struggled to get a kick in his early games,” Koutoufides said.

“He was a truly shy kid, but he was always respectful and never had an ego. Now he’s one of the greats in the team. He’s been so consistent for so long, he’s truly fearless and who ever thought he could be so hard and tough? He’s been one of the truly freakish players of the past decade.”

“He’s adapted to become an exceptional League footballer and I’m really proud of his achievements, because he’s an extremely level-headed guy who’s made the absolute utmost of his playing career.”