Carlton great Kade Simpson opens door for shock AFL comeback

Carlton great Kade Simpson has declared he wants to continue his AFL career despite hanging up the boots at the end of last season.

Simpson called time on his career after 342 games with the Blues with the club not offering the 36-year-old a new deal for season 2021.

But after watching a month of AFL action, Simpson has outlined he wants to make a shock return and believes he is ready to play if wanted by a team in the mid-season rookie draft.

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AFL: Leigh Montagna believes six of the current top eight sides will hold their spots and play finals in 2021.

“I still wish I was playing, like 100 per cent,” Simpson said to former teammate Dylan Buckley on the Dyl and Friends podcast.

“Even now, for some stupid reason, I still run and flog myself. In the back of my head I’m like, just imagine if someone now with the mid-season draft and all that sort of stuff. I’m pretty fit still.

“If someone did come knocking, I’m ready. I wouldn’t be like ‘oh f**k I haven’t done a thing for six months’. I’m still fit.

The dashing defender believed his game play suited the faster style of football and declared he’d be willing to pull the boots back on at a club that is likely to play in September.

“I think I’d consider it. I wouldn’t play just for the sake of playing (it would need to be) a team that’s going to be challenging, looking like they’re going to play finals,” he said.

Simpson believes he can add to a side in the premiership mix.Source:AAP

“I’ll always be a Carlton person. But I still feel like I’ve got something left. I still have the desire to compete and that hasn’t gone away.

“Even with the way the game is played as well, this year is very different to last year which would again suit me as well. I’m dealing with retirement, but haven’t dealt with it.

“Everyone is like, ‘It’s good to retire with a little bit left in the tank’ and I think … ‘What?’ That makes no sense to me, I want to run that thing dry.

“That’s like dying with money in the bank.”

On the AFL’s official list lodgement release in November, Simpson was listed as delisted by Carlton, rather than retired, meaning he would be eligible to selected in the draft.

Under the rules for the 2019 edition, retired players only become eligible for the mid-season draft after they have not been on an AFL list for at least one year.

A player delisted last year cannot be picked up by the same club. It would mean Simpson is available to all AFL clubs except Carlton.

The 2021 mid-season rookie draft is slated for Wednesday June 2.

Originally published asAFL great opens door for shock comeback

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