“I’M a big fan of him, he’s just the ultimate clubman.”
Kade Simpson’s playing career may have come to an end on-field at the close of the 2020 AFL season, but the Carlton stalwart has plenty more work to do at Ikon Park.
Appointed as the Blues’ AFLW forwards assistant coach last week, the former Blue continues his 18-year tenure at the Club ahead of Carlton’s fifth AFLW season.
“He’s just the ultimate clubman and he’s been here from the beginning of his career which is something that I really like,” Carlton defender Nat Plane said.
“He’s been awesome — obviously he’s fresh from playing, so it’s the little stuff he can give us advice on and the finer detail stuff.
“It’s been really good to have him.”
Playing out the second half of his career primarily in defence, Simpson is switching hats in his coaching debut and stepping in as the line coach for the forwards.
Despite playing some games as a forward, Blues forward Brooke Walker believes the real benefit is the ability to develop skills through an opposition lens.
Back and building something special. ??@kez_harrington believes the foundation is set for an even better 2021.— Carlton Women's (@carltonfc_w) November 29, 2020
“He often tells us what he hates the most that forwards did when he was a defender, so that’s really worked to our advantage,” Walker said.
“He had played a few games as a forward, so he also has that knowledge, but being able to explain to us his knowledge in his terms has really benefited our forward line so far.”
But with the AFLW season taking place over the warmer months, Walker was surprised to see Simpson without his signature sleeves at the beginning of pre-season.
“I was actually shocked when I saw him come out on the track without his long-sleeve guernsey on,” she said.
“He just brings a huge amount of experience and knowledge to the program, not just as an AFL player but as a professional athlete for the past 18 years so we’re really excited to be able to tap into that.”