When it comes to the most positive stories to come out of 2020, the name Jy Simpkin quickly comes to mind.
The 22-year-old finished second in the Syd Barker Medal, leading the count for much of the year, and averaged 20 disposals a game.
He's already took his game to a whole new level, but the North number 12 isn’t content; joining the game’s elite is next on the agenda.
“I like to work hard to try and be the best in the competition,” Simpkin said.
“Hopefully one day I’ll get there. I’m still a bit away at the moment.”
Regularly recognised for his tireless work ethic and pursuit to get better, Simpkin has returned to training noticeably bulked up.
He’s been a standout in the drills, and is fit and firing, ready to improve.
“Just working hard at my game and knowing what works for me … I’ve still got to understand the things I do well and don’t do well and just keep going to work at training,” Simpkin said.
“Consistency is going to be a massive one for me. I know I can do at times, but as everyone would have seen last year, I drop out of games as well, so consistency is key for me.”
While he’s played just 73 games, Simpkin is already a member of the Roos’ leadership group, and is now keen to work closely with the club’s next generation of midfielders.
“With ‘Higgo’ (Shaun Higgins) going out, the main thing will be the leadership in that midfield group,” he added.
“Obviously he (Higgins) was really good with all of us guys and helping us out, so someone has to step up.
“Hopefully I can fulfil his role in helping lead the younger guys coming through, with Will Phillips, Charlie Lazzaro and the draftees … (and) Luke Davies (Uniacke) who’s set to have a big year; hopefully I can help guide those guys like ‘Higgo’ guided me.”