Adam Simpson will be missed.
After nearly 15 seasons at North Melbourne Football Club, Adam Simpson will hang up the boots after this Friday’s clash against Carlton. One of the game’s most understated champions, Simmo leaves a rich legacy from his time at Arden St.
But he will leave a big vacuum. Not so much on-field, where he is known just as much for helicopter punts as contested footy, but as an off-field spokesperson. Simpson is one of the few well-spoken leaders among the North playing group, and it is difficult to see an immediate successor.
Blessed with a brilliant leadership group was so long, the retirements of Shannon Grant, Glen Archer and now Simpson have left a hole in North’s top tier. Brent Harvey is now the last of the premiership players, and while it’s difficult to question his on-field leadership, he’s not a natural media performer. Drew Petrie is lovely, but lacks media profile. Josh Gibson made an impressive debut on The Footy Show, but is not really considered a club leader (although I imagine that will change in 2010).
So while North’s off-field leadership is as strong as it’s ever been, North’s dire need for some on-field leadership just became more urgent. And with Buckley rejecting the coaching role, the perennial search for positive media attention continues.
But let’s not take anything away from Simmo. He has delivered more than you could ever hope for, in ways only North people will ever really understand.