Tide can still turn for battling Roos: North co-captain

Anna Harrington |

Jy Simpkin (L) remains upbeat despite enduring a difficult season so far with the winless Kangaroos.
Jy Simpkin (L) remains upbeat despite enduring a difficult season so far with the winless Kangaroos.

North Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin is adamant the tide will turn for the winless cellar dwellars as he attempts to get his own form up and running.

The Kangaroos are rooted to the bottom of the AFL ladder and have lost their nine games by an average of nearly 53 points.

“It’s obviously going not the way we planned,” Simpkin said.

“But I think the strength of the group is the united piece.

“We’re all sticking together – coaches, players, we’re all on the same page. We know where we want to get to.

“Each week we’re finding different things out about ourselves, and we’ve just got to keep fixing little cogs in our game plan to suit us, but it’ll come.

“We’re working our backsides off every single day … we’re such a united group, and we’re all in it together.

“So it will come. It’s just going to take time.”

Simpkin hailed the growth of Colby McKercher, George Wardlaw and Charlie Comben.

As an individual, Simpkin has struggled to get going this year.

Jy Simpkin.
Jy Simpkin gets off a handball during a recent North clash with St Kilda. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

His concussion suffered in a brutal high bump from Jimmy Webster in pre-season – that earned the St Kilda defender a seven-week ban – put him on the back foot early.

Simpkin was rested from last week’s defeat to Gold Coast with a tight quad but expected to face Essendon on Sunday.

“I’m doing OK,” Simpkin said at the launch of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

“It’s obviously been a frustrating year, personally, as well. My form hasn’t been the greatest but we’re all working together as a team, as an individual.

“There are not many of us who are actually in great form.”

Simpkin has averaged just 15.7 disposals, clearly his lowest over the past five years, as he spends more time up forward under Alastair Clarkson.

“Me and ‘Clarko’ talk very closely each week about the balance of finding the midfield and half-forward role,” he said.

“At the moment we’re just trying to find that balance for the team and what works best.

“So I’ll do whatever I have to do for the team. If that’s up forward then that’s where I’ll be in, if that’s in the midfield then that’s also where I’ll be.

“I’m a team-first player and as captain of this football team, I want what’s best for the team. So, if he thinks that’s me being up forward, then that’s where it is.”

Football boss Todd Viney confirmed on RSN radio on Tuesday morning the Kangaroos will not request a priority draft pick this year.