BACK in December, Kade Simpson spoke of his intentions to take on an active role in the development of Carlton’s youngsters.
Despite being unable to head to Ikon Park and train alongside his new teammates as he’s done for 18 years, the investment hasn’t stopped from the veteran.
With Carlton welcoming five draftees late last year, Simpson - who is preparing for life after football - is helping them through their new life as footballers.
While the hands-on work has stopped, Simpson is continuing to check-in throughout life in lockdown.
“I sent them all a message the other day… making sure they’re actually okay mentally, enjoying some time with their family and continuing to train,” Simpson said.
“I was talking to Sammy Philp the other day and we’re going to try and catch up for a kick together. That’ll be good, that one-on-one stuff you can still do.”
Working with Wellbeing and Engagement Manager Lil O’Sullivan, Simpson is assisting the new Blues in their life outside of footy.
He said the current situation was a chance to set themselves up with a semester of study while football isn’t operating.
“It’s nothing set in concrete… [I’m] more of a sounding board for those guys, answering any questions they have or issues they have,” he said.
“It’s a good chance now to assess what they want to do.
Taking the new Blues under his wing.— Carlton FC (at ??) (@CarltonFC) December 8, 2019
Kade Simpson will have an active role in the development and integration of our new draftees this year. ??#BoundByBlue
“There are a lot of online courses that can be done and it’s a good chance for them to knuckle down and knock off a semester or so in their study.”
However, in terms of his own life after footy, things aren’t as straightforward as they seem.
Echoing Sam Docherty’s sentiments from a month ago, he said there was no certainty about post-career employment being in football considering the current changes.
“I’m still really keen on the space. It has crossed my mind quite a bit that there may not be a role there,” he said.
“Obviously football departments are being spoken about that they’re going to shrink and there’s going to be less funding involved in them.
“There’s a real possibility that there won’t be positions available when I do retire. I have started thinking about other opportunities and other things that I’d like to get involved in.”