THE THOUGHT of calling it quits hasn’t yet entered the mind of Kade Simpson.
And the Carlton veteran doesn’t want it to any time soon.
Currently in the midst of his 17th pre-season at Ikon Park, retirement plans are still a long way from being on the agenda for the 34-year-old stalwart of Carlton’s backline.
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Still an influential figure in a young and rebuilding Carlton outfit, Simpson was again named in an experienced five-man leadership group on Wednesday afternoon.
But the veteran’s role remains just as important on the field, averaging 26.1 disposals last season – the second-most of his career – to finish second in the club’s best and fairest.
With that in mind, he’s not putting an expiry date on his Carlton career.
“I don’t really want to put a limit on it,” Simpson said.
“Guys can go in and say it’s going to be their last year. I don’t want to do that. I’ll play for as long as the body and the mind hold up.
“‘Bolts’ (coach Brendon Bolton) has always said that when I walk through the door, if I’m playing good footy and I’ve still got something to offer, there will always be a spot for me.”
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Simpson was the last Carlton player remaining on the track on Wednesday, running laps with new high-performance manager Andrew Russell long after the session concluded.
He admits each pre-season is getting harder, but that his motivation isn’t fading.
“I’m feeling older and older as the younger guys come in,” Simpson said.
“The intensity of training has definitely gone up. It’s something the coaches and the leaders are driving, but the young guys are probably the ones driving that standard on the track.”
Simpson will be reacquainted with new co-captain Sam Docherty in the Carlton backline in 2019, with the former All Australian missing the entirety of last season with a knee injury.
He’s looking forward to the additional support when round one eventually rolls around.
“Hopefully he’ll take a bit of the attention off me,” Simpson said.
“At 34, I don’t need blokes scragging me and hanging off me. Hopefully they go to him and I can free wheel across half-back again.”
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS