MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 30: Kade Simpson of the Blues walks to the coin toss ahead of his 300th match during the 2018 AFL round 15 match between the Carlton Blues and the Port Adelaide Power at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 30, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Carlton have announced that retiree Kade Simpson will stay at the club to be an assistant coach for the AFLW team.

The 342-game veteran will coach the Blues’ forward line, however he will also feature for the club’s second-tier side as an assistant coach.

Simpson said he was delighted to stay at Carlton past his retirement.

“The last few years have shown what our AFLW side is capable of and I’m really looking forward to helping these players bring the ultimate success to the Carlton Football Club.

“This is a really talented group who work extremely hard, so there is plenty of reasons for our members and supporters to get right behind this side heading into the 2021 season.

“The chance to also work with the reserves program, primarily with the younger players on our AFL list, is a great opportunity. I’ve seen first-hand how hard those players are working to bring success to Carlton and the fact I can help them achieve that is fantastic.

General Manager of Women’s Football at Carlton, Ash Brown, was over the moon to secure Simpson as a coach for the side.

“Our players are constantly looking to learn and soak up advice from experienced people in the game, there are few in modern football who can provide that better than Kade…

“His communication and leadership on the field was exceptional over a long period of time and we have no doubt those qualities will see Kade transition perfectly to our AFLW program, providing an invaluable sounding board for our emerging group.”

The AFLW season is scheduled to begin in February, and is planned to contain nine rounds of home-and-away action, with three weeks of finals.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said that the league is preparing for all possibilities, including the establishment of players hubs the likes of which were seen in 2020.

“We know that we need to have a fixture out in the first week of December, that’s the latest they can wait before they make decisions about work, their employment.

“If we need to we can go into hubs, our preference is not to, but we’ll have the contingencies together in case.”