Colac Tiger Joffy Simpkin is the latest Geelong Football League star to put club before state in a bid to ensure his side has the best shot at winning a flag in 2019.
Simpkin revealed to the Colac Herald that he notified Vic Country officials he wouldn’t put his hand up for selection ahead of its June 13 outing against the Victorian Amateur Football Association.
Fellow Tigers and initial squad members Lochie Veale, suspended, and Jarryn McCormack, injured, are also set to miss the representative game, which clashes with Colac’s round 12 GFL match against Lara.
Simpkin, a former AFL premiership player with Hawthorn, said his desire to reach the ultimate success at his home club Colac was his number one priority this year.
The state game usually occurs during a bye-round each year, but will happen on the same weekend as club footy in 2019.
Simpkin joins Newtown and Chilwell captain Matt McMahon in ruling himself out to focus on playing for their respective home clubs instead.
The 31-year-old said a groin injury, which sidelined him for last weekend’s win over St Albans, might have also impacted his availability, with Simpkin unsure if he will be fit to take on Lara after this weekend’s bye.
“I let them know that I’m not going to be available, so I won’t be playing,” Simpkin said.
“I might not have been available anyway through injury, but to be honest I pretty much told them straight away I’d be playing for Colac if I was fit,” he said.
“My aim in footy at the moment is to win a premiership in Colac and not to play for Vic Country.
“Even though I’m probably only 50-50 to play next week, if I did have a choice it’d be to play at Colac anyway.”
Simpkin, whose decorated career included stints at four AFL clubs, has played a key role guiding Colac to second on the ladder after 11 rounds during his second season back at Tigerland.
The prolific ball-winner is averaging more than 30 disposals a game and was also a standout performer for the GFL in a losing interleague match against the Northern league earlier this season.
Simpkin said he had adapted more to the Geelong league’s brand of football in 2019.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.