GREATER Western Sydney's pursuit for a ruckman will be on in earnest during the NAB AFL Trade Period following the news that journeyman Dawson Simpson will hang up the boots at season's end.


Dawson's retirement means that the Giants have just one experienced ruckman on their books in Shane Mumford, 33.

Other ruckman on their list are youngsters Kieren Briggs, 20, and Matthew Flynn, 21 (who did his ACL in July and won't be expected to return until mid-way through 2020).

Dawson Simpson and Shane Mumford at training on Tuesday. Picture: Getty Images
GWS Training

GWS has already been linked to All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder. Ryder falls out of contract at season's end.

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 - Dawson Simpson

Simpson spent 12 years in the AFL system after being drafted by Geelong in 2007.

Over eight seasons at Kardinia Park, he played 28 AFL games and was part of the club's 2012 VFL premiership. 

Simpson, 30, joined the Giants as an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2015 and made an impressive debut for the club in round 19, 2017 winning 44 hitouts. 

He has played 47 AFL games in total and was a key part of the Giants' NEAFL premiership team in 2016.

After almost joining the army as a teenager, Simpson was encouraged to pursue football.

He is a qualified personal trainer, and also runs weekly fitness classes for the staff at the club while his wife Allira works in the club's community department. 

"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. 

AFL Fantasy

"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."

Simpson is the second Giant to reveal 2019 will be their last season this week, with veteran Brett Deledio announcing his retirement on Thursday.

Simpson has named in the Giants' extended 25-man squad for Sunday's crucial meeting with the Western Bulldogs at Giants Stadium.