Sunday Herald Sun - - Sport - CHRIS CAVANAGH

ON the back of four wooden spoons, one of Carl­ton’s most loyal ser­vants is on a col­li­sion course with foot­ball’s most un­wanted record this year.

Vet­eran de­fender Kade Simp­son, who is en­ter­ing his 17th year with the Blues, is on track to eclipse for­mer Fitzroy cap­tain Kevin Mur­ray’s record for most ca­reer losses.

Mur­ray played in 208 de­feats for Fitzroy from 333 ca­reer matches be­fore hang­ing up the boots in 1974.

Simp­son has 194 losses to his name from 307 ca­reer matches, mean­ing if he plays in 15 de­feats this sea­son he will take over the long-stand­ing record.

Just seven more losses for Simp­son would see him claim sec­ond spot on the list, cur­rently held by for­mer Footscray and Fitzroy great Doug Hawkins, who played in 200 de­feats.

Mur­ray told the Sun­day Her­ald Sun that while he would be happy to hand over the ba­ton, he felt for Simp­son as play­ing in so many losses had its chal­lenges.

“No­body wanted it to be that way, none of us, but it just turned out that way,” the 1969 Brown­low Medal win­ner said.

“He has had a great ca­reer and win, lose or draw, it doesn’t mat­ter what hap­pens. Michael Tuck Kevin Bartlett Shaun Bur­goyne 238 Bruce Doull 235 Brent Har­vey 208 Kevin Mur­ray 200 Doug Hawkins John Ran­tall 196 Paul Roos 194 Kade Simp­son

“You al­ways try to do your best, that’s the most im­por­tant thing.

“That’s where sup­port­ers stick with you, be­cause they can see how hard you try.”

Simp­son, who turns 35 in May, has won twice as many wooden spoons as he has fi­nals matches, hold­ing a 2-4 record from six out­ings in Septem­ber.

The Blues have made fi­nals just four times since he de­buted in 2003, one of those oc­ca­sions com­ing when they ac­tu­ally fin­ished ninth in 2013 be­fore re­plac­ing an Essendon side that was booted out of the KELSEY EYES CUP BERTH, PAGE 69 top-eight due to the sup­ple­ments saga. Part of the club’s cur­rent lead­er­ship group, Simp­son has re­mained loyal to the Blues de­spite the Carl­ton curse and spoke in De­cem­ber of his de­sire to po­ten­tially play on be­yond 2019.

“I don’t re­ally want to put a limit on it,” Simp­son said.

“I think guys can go in and say this is go­ing to be their last year. I don’t want to do that.

“I’ll play as long as the body and the mind holds up and Bolts (coach Bren­don Bolton) has al­ways said to me as soon as you walk through the door if you’re play­ing good footy and still got some­thing to of­fer there’ll al­ways be a spot for me.”

Simp­son’s over­all win-loss record stands at 36.3 per cent, a per­cent­age that is more than twice as good as Bris­bane’s Nick Robert­son, who has the worst win-loss record of any cur­rent player in the AFL who has played at least 50 games.

Robert­son has sung the team song 12 times from 68 out­ings, a w i n n i n g per­cent­age of just 17.7.

302 260 242 199 Carl­ton’s Kade Simp­son looks for­lorn as the fi­nal siren sounds for his 300th match, an­other loss, this time to Port Ade­laide. Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

not been named and Bas­sett will re­main with the team, which plays its open­ing match against South Africa in Liver­pool to­mor­row.Giants shooter Kiera Austin has flown to Eng­land.“We are up­set for Caitlin and to have her miss this se­ries isn’t ideal, but we’re pre­pared for sit­u­a­tions such as this,” Di­a­monds coach Lisa Alexan­der said. Tom Mitchell in hos­pi­tal.

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