A LEGEND of the game knows talent when he sees it.
Chris Judd had nothing but great things to say about the man who occupied the locker next to him during his time at the Carlton Football Club.
Judd learnt a lot about Kade Simpson during the years: as an opponent, as a teammate and then as a fan and Board member in retirement.
“When I think about how he went about his footy off the field, the word meticulous comes to mind,” Judd said.
“I can picture him in the pilates room really diligently going through the different exercises he needed to to get ready, he always had a drink bottle that seemed to be in the exact same spot.
“He was a perfectionist and I guess when you look at those sort of behaviours that he built, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he was able to extract so much out of himself for the game.”
While the retiring great may have been known at Ikon Park for his time in the pilates room, there’s always been doubt about the No.6’s time in the gym.
Judd spoke highly of Simpson’s underrated strength, noting that the small-built defender was remarkably strong for his size.
“For anyone who’s tried to take him on in a tackle or a marking contest, you do only once,” he said.
“He’s remarkably strong pound-for-pound for the sort of weight that he’s carrying.”
Both Judd and Simpson played through some tough times at Carlton, but Judd always admired how well Simpson responded to adversity and represented the Navy Blue jumper.
“He was always just dedicated to whatever the Club and the team needed to get better: he just had an enormous amount of care for his teammates and really did respect the jumper,” he said.
“It never really mattered how challenging the times got. He was never a whinger or a complainer, he was just a pro going about his work and trying to make the Club better.”