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Simpkin holds head high

“Since I’ve come back in, I’ve played more around the ball which has been good, and hopefully I can keep playing some good footy and keep my spot.”

Being told you’ve been dropped is never easy to hear, but North Melbourne midfielder Jy Simpkin turned his recent disappointment into a positive.

“I went back to the twos, and got my confidence back a bit,” Simpkin said on the latest episode of the Powershop Players' Podcast.

Simpkin had struggled for form in the AFL early in the season, and was sent back to the VFL in Round 6.

He says a brief spell helped him regain his confidence. 

“After you play a few average games in a row, you get frustrated and a bit down on yourself,” Simpkin explained. 

“You’ve trained so hard in the pre-season, so you think in those first few games, ‘Why isn’t it clicking?’”

The young midfielder responded to his omission with a best on ground performance, collecting 33 disposals. 

“Going back ... You get your hands on the footy a lot more, and you feel more settled once you come back in.

“Since I’ve come back in, I’ve played more around the ball which has been good, and hopefully I can keep playing some good footy and keep my spot.” 

Simpkin’s response to being omitted was impressive according to Jamie Macmillan and the same is expected of the likes of Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paul Ahern, Curtis Taylor and Bailey Scott.

“I watched that game, and you could see that he [Simpkin] wanted to make an impact,” Macmillan said. 

“In the weeks before, he hadn’t been playing with the flair we know he’s capable of, and was low on confidence.

“He went back with a great attitude and he was unbelievable that day. 

“We were watching and thinking, "Jy is a cut above this level."

“And credit to him, he took that confidence and brought it to the AFL the next week.”

The North number 12 was one of the Roos’ best against Sydney on Saturday, and he will be looking to continue his strong form in Sir Doug Nicholls Round this weekend. 

“It’s really exciting ... It’s a great weekend for us as we get to show off our culture to the world.” 

With North having had 26 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders represent the club, Simpkin doesn't have to look far to find inspiration. 

“Being here when Lindsay (Thomas) was here, and watching Wellsy (Daniel Wells) while he was at the club - those are the two that stand out," he said. 

“Lindsay was a great help to me when I got here, and he really showed me the ropes and how to go about your business.

“And I’ve seen highlights of the Krakouer brothers and Byron Pickett, and seeing [sic] what they were capable of.” 

The Roos will run out in Round 10 and 11 in their special “Totem” jumper, which pays tribute to the current Aboriginal players. 

“The jumper this year has all of our totems on it,” Simpkin explained.

“Mine is the long neck turtle, and that’s represented in the middle stripe with the shell.”

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