K rock Football

Simpson among three re-signings

Sam Simpson (right) embraces Geelong captain Joel Selwood following last week’s preliminary final win over Brisbane. (AFL Photos Image/Michael Willson)

SAM Simpson has been rewarded for his impressive 2020 finals campaign with a new two-year contract.

The 22-year-old midfielder has joined rookie duo Lachie Henderson and Bradley Close in re-signing with the Cats.

Henderson and Close, who are opposite ends of their careers, have both signed one-year deals.

Simpson took his game tally to 15 after featuring nine times in 2020, including the finals wins over Collingwood and Brisbane Lions, and the grand final loss to Richmond.

He averaged 14 disposals and three tackles during October after fighting his way back into the team following a stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

“Sam did very well when he earned his opportunity with his strong work ethic and impact around the ball being a highlight,” Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd said.

“He was also very diligent in his rehab, and that allowed him to come back into the team during the finals and have a significant influence.”


Henderson, who now has 185 AFL games to his name, was one the feelgood stories of 2020 for Geelong.

Delisted at the end of 2019, the former Lion and Blue was thrown a lifeline in last year’s Rookie Draft following Ryan Abbott’s decision to join St Kilda.

Henderson, who played just 13 matches across 2018-19, didn’t miss a game for the rest of the season after being called into the team for the win over Fremantle in Round 8, which coincided with Mark Blicavs’ permanent move up the ground.

“Lachie filled a key role in our defence for most of the season and had an impact in quelling key opposition forwards,” Lloyd said.

“He is a team-first player who has always placed the needs of the group ahead of his own.”

Close, who joined Geelong in last year’s Rookie Draft after playing in a SANFL premiership with Glenelg, made his debut in the clash with the Dockers, kicking a goal in the opening minute of play.

He was dropped following the Round 17 loss to Richmond but was retained the squad for the final round of the home-and-away season and all four finals.

“Brad also played well as a forward, and we see him having a good future at AFL level,” Lloyd said.

“He will continue to develop his game through his strong drive and professionalism, and we look forward to seeing Brad further enhance his game in 2021.”

The re-signing of Simpson, Henderson and Close follows that of Tom Stewart, Jack Henry, Rhys Stanley, Zach Tuohy and Brandan Parfitt last week.

It leaves Darcy Fort, Zach Guthrie, Ben Jarvis, Quinton Narkle, Stefan Okunbor and Jake Tarca as the Cats yet to have their futures confirmed publicly by the club.

Twitter: @tom_king79