The returning Sam Simpson spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: Great to see you back playing at senior level. It’s been a while, 603 days.
A: I just heard that number before. Sure has been a while. It was good to be out there, a part of things again.
Q: Tell us about what has happened since the qualifying final in 2021.
A: Yeah, little bit. Just had some concussion stuff, won’t bore you with the details. It sort of just lingered for a while. Yeah, much more than I would have hoped. Yeah, just a lot of dizziness and stuff. A bit of a slow progression back into footy which probably cost me all last season. Yeah, but all good now. Very fortunate, lucky that the club was a great support through that time. Yeah, just glad to be back out running around, trying to get a kick.
Q: The feeling out there tonight, can you talk to us about how it was running out there and then being back playing AFL at the home stadium?
A: Well, first and foremost it was great to get amongst the home crowd again, hear a bit of
noise out there for us. Yeah, no, it was just…it was great fun.
Q: You get emotional?
A: I try and just… You have to stay in the moment a bit. I know that sounds cliched. I sort of said to myself before, “If I kick a goal, I’m going to play it cool.” Then I carried on like a pork chop. It does get the better of you at times, as you guys know.
Q: Sam, we loved every bit of it. Your dad Sean, a great player for Geelong. Families feel it intensely, particularly when out of the game so long. How was it? Did you have conversations with your dad about it through that time? I’m sure they’re the happiest people in Geelong at the moment.
A: Definitely. I think even in the build-up to this week and stuff, getting selected again, it’s great for your family and stuff like that. You know, as player, it’s a foot at the start line. It is awesome they can enjoy it, be along for the ride. Yeah, we sort of get to work as a player.
Q: Was there a time when you thought you wouldn’t play again at this level?
A: Yeah, yeah, if I’m being completely candid. Yeah, there was a couple of bleak days there was a couple of bleak days there, just wanted to get back to normal every day life. Yeah, that was gone for a little bit. Footy sort of took a bit of a back page. Yeah, I’m very glad to be back, that’s for sure.
Q: You can see the joy of your teammates, genuine affection. Chris Scott spoke pre-game.
Pre-game he was touching on your story, how wonderful they all felt, the whole club, to have you back out there. Must have been a great feeling for you.
A: Yeah, been unbelievable, you know. This is my seventh year now, so I spent a lot of time with the boys. It was just great to be out there, put the hoops on again.
Q: Jeremy Cameron can play.
A: Not too bad, is he?
Q: Unbelievable, how casual he is, how easy he makes the difficult look.
A: It is unbelievable. At times you’d get the front seat when out there. So, yeah, him and Hawk, he was unbelievable tonight. Another fantastic servant of the club. I was very lucky to have a front row seat to them.