RETIRED Carlton champion Kade Simpson is considering a shock mid-season comeback – with one condition.
After keeping himself in good shape despite hanging up the boots in September last year, the 342-game former Blue would only don another club's colours if they were in finals contention.
"I think I'd consider it. I wouldn't play just for the sake of playing (it would need to be) a team that's going to be challenging, looking like they're going to play finals," Simpson told the Dyl and Friends podcast, hosted by his former Carlton teammate Dylan Buckley.
Simpson said he sorely missed playing AFL football, even after the grind of 18 seasons at the top level.
"Even now, for some stupid reason, I still run and flog myself. In the back of my head I'm like, just imagine if someone now with the mid-season draft and all that sort of stuff. I'm pretty fit still," he said.
"If someone did come knocking, I'm ready… I'm still fit."
Simpson revealed he had been interested in playing a 19th season at Ikon Park but with the Blues luring star recruits Adam Saad and Zac Williams, who both made their names as dashing half-backs, the decision was made for him.
"If they knew they were getting Saad and Williams, I would've given me the arse too," he said with a laugh.
"I'll always be a Carlton person, whether I came out of retirement or coached somewhere else, but I still feel like I've got something left.
"I still have the desire to compete and that hasn't gone away."
If he does make a return, Simpson will be treading the same path as fellow 300-gamer Luke Hodge, who ended his career at Hawthorn but was lured out of retirement to play another two seasons and 41 games at Brisbane.
"Everyone is like, 'It's good to retire with a little bit left in the tank' and I think … 'What?' That makes no sense to me, I want to run that thing dry.
"That's like dying with money in the bank."