PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Tom Hickey of the Eagles contests a ruck with Dawson Simpson of the Giants during the round two AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Giants at Optus Stadium on March 30, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Dawson Simpson has called time on his career after 12 years at the elite level.

Simpson was drafted by Geelong in 2007 after almost joining the army, but was encouraged to pursue a career in AFL football instead.

Over a span of eight seasons at Geelong, Simpson played 28 games for the Cats and was a key figure in the Cats’ 2012 VFL premiership.

Simpson then joined the GWS Giants at the end of 2015 as an unrestricted free agent, where he is currently listed. Simpson made his debut for the Giants in 2017 and was also a key part of GWS’ NEAFL premiership in 2016.

Simpson has played 47 AFL games in total, and the journeyman has been through some highs and lows over his career.

Giants’ General Manager of Football Wayne Campbell showed his appreciation to Simpson, saying that he will be sorely missed within the clubs walls.

“The GIANTS and Geelong footy clubs are better places for having Dawson be a part of them,” Campbell told the club’s website.

“Daws is one of those people who becomes the heart and soul of a football club and the impact he and his family have had in four years at the GIANTS is immense.

“He will be sorely missed due to his character, work ethic and resilience. He will leave a hole on-field, off-field and in the gym where he has kept our staff in shape over the past few years.

“We wish Dawson, Allira and their kids Isla and Nash nothing but the best in their next adventure.”

Simpson said he can look back on his career as something he will forever be grateful for, and will leave the game with a sense of happiness and satisfaction.

“I probably haven’t achieved what I wanted to when it comes to games played, but I think the resilience I’ve been taught has created a man that can make a difference outside of football,” Simpson said.

“I think that had I had an armchair ride or a cruisey career, I wouldn’t be the same person today. I wouldn’t have the same depth and resilience in my character if I didn’t have the setbacks I had and the injuries I’ve had.

“I look back on my career happy with what I’ve been able to achieve over the past 12 seasons and striving for those last couple of games and the ultimate success this year.

“The friendships I’ve made at both the Cats and the GIANTS will last for a lifetime and that’s one of things I look back on with the greatest fondness.”