Adam Simpson (born 16 February 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer who is the current premiership coach of the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). A left-footed midfielder, his playing career for North Melbourne spanned from 1995 to 2009, where he played 306 games.
Simpson with West Coast in April 2018
|Full name||Adam Simpson|
|Date of birth||16 February 1976|
|Original team(s)||Eltham (DVFL)|
|Draft||No. 14, 1993 national draft|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||86 kg (190 lb)|
|1995–2009||North Melbourne||306 (83)|
|International team honours|
|2014–||West Coast||142 (92–49–1)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2009.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2019.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
From Melbourne, Simpson played junior football for Eltham and the Northern Knights before being recruited to North Melbourne at the 1993 National Draft. He made his debut during the 1995 season, and won a premiership the following year, during which he was also nominated for the AFL Rising Star award. Another premiership followed in 1999, and in 2002, Simpson was named in the All-Australian team and also won North Melbourne's best and fairest award, the Syd Barker Medal. He was appointed club captain in 2004, and held the position until stepping down at the end of the 2008 season, with his span including a preliminary final in 2007. Simpson played his 300th game in 2009, the third North Melbourne player to do so, and finished his career towards the end of the season. He was appointed coach of West Coast in October 2013, replacing John Worsfold.
Simpson grew up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne where he played junior football for Eltham in the suburban Diamond Valley Football League. He also played under-18 football for Northern Knights. Simpson also had a stint in the East Gippsland town of Sale where he was part of an under 15's premiership under coach Vince Moro.
Simpson was recruited by North Melbourne at the 1993 National Draft. He made his senior debut for the club against the Eagles in round 18 at Princes Park during the 1995 season. The following season he played for North Melbourne in the grand final win over Sydney. Earlier in the season he was nominated for the Rising Star award. Simpson also played a key midfield role for North Melbourne when the team won the 1999 Grand Final. In 2002, he won the club best and fairest award (Syd Barker Medal) and he was named in the All-Australian team.
Club captain (2004–2008)
Simpson was appointed club captain in 2004, and he led the Kangaroos into the finals the following year.
In 2005, the skipper narrowly missed recording a fifth consecutive top-three finish in the club best and fairest. He finished 4th, one vote behind 3rd and 2 votes shy of second. That year he missed two games with a punctured lung, but he still tallied over 400 disposals for the season with his industrious playmaking style.
Round 5 2007, he racked up a career equalling high 41 disposals, including a goal, in the Roos 16 point win against Geelong at Kardinia Park. Weeks later, he played his 250th game against Carlton in a home game at Carrara on the Gold Coast. North Melbourne won the game 22-13 (147) to 20-10 (130). Simpson had 20 disposals. At the end of the game, his teammates celebrated his 250 milestone by chairlifting him from the field.
On 5 November 2008 Adam Simpson announced he was stepping down as captain but he would continue playing in 2009. Brent Harvey became the new captain.
In 2009 Adam Simpson along with Daniel Pratt admitted to making a YouTube video entitled "The Adventures of Little Boris". The video was of a rubber chicken named Boris performing sex acts on a chicken carcass. This resulted in North Melbourne giving them fines of $5,000 each over their part in the sex video.
Simpson and Pratt were among seven Kangaroos players responsible for producing the film, which put a media spotlight on the club and AFL players in general over their attitudes to women.
Simpson retired during the 2009 season. With North Melbourne out of finals contention, Simpson announced his retirement on 27 July 2009. He played the last of his 306 games on Friday night against Carlton in round 18 at Docklands on 31 July He ended his playing career after 15 seasons in the same round he made his debut. Simpson played every game during the North Melbourne 1996 and 1999 premiership seasons, and during his career he missed seven games as a regular player. He was the third player to notch 300 games for North Melbourne. At the end of his playing career he was remembered as hard-at-the-ball and as a favourite son of North Melbourne Football Club.
After his playing retirement, Simpson began his coaching career as an assistant coach under Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn in 2010, and he was the midfield & forward coach for the Hawks when the club won the Grand Final in 2013.
In October 2013, the West Coast Eagles appointed Simpson coach for the 2014 season. He replaced John Worsfold who stood down after a disappointing 2013 season. Simpson was selected ahead of applicants Scott Burns, Leigh Tudor and Peter Sumich. In his first year as senior coach the Eagles finished 9th. The following year, Simpson and the Eagles surprised many commentators by their performance when the club finished 2nd at the end home & away rounds. The team went onto play in the 2015 AFL Grand Final, which they lost to Hawthorn.
In the following two seasons the Eagles made the finals, bowing out in the elimination final and the semi-final in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
In Round 2, 2018 against Western Bulldogs at Docklands Stadium, West Coast Eagles forwards coach Jaymie Graham served as caretaker coach of the team after Simpson was forced to return to Perth due to a family health drama
Simpson continued to coach the Eagles to their second grand final in four seasons in 2018, and in contrast to 2015 coached the Eagles to a Grand Final win.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
|W||Wins||L||Losses||D||Draws||W%||Winning percentage||LP||Ladder position||LT||League teams|
|2018†||West Coast||24||18||6||0||75.0%||PREMIERS (from 2nd)||18|
Honours and achievements
- AFL Premiership (North Melbourne): 1996, 1999
- McClelland Trophy (North Melbourne): 1998
- Pre-Season Cup Winner (North Melbourne): 1995, 1998
- "Adam Simpson's last game, behind the scenes". North Melbourne Football Club.
- "Adam Simpson Press Conference". West Coast Eagles Football Club.
- "Adam Simpson". AFL Tables.
- "Adam Simpson's coaching profile". AFL Tables.
- "How The Fathering Project is helping Adam Simpson". Perth Now.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adam Simpson.|
- Adam Simpson's profile on the official website of the North Melbourne Football Club
- Adam Simpson's playing statistics from AFL Tables