GEELONG is keeping a close eye on young midfielder Sam Simpson, who has emerged as a possible father-son pick for the Cats at this year's NAB AFL Draft.
The 18-year-old is the son of former Geelong midfielder Sean Simpson, who played 114 games for the Cats between 1991-98 after crossing from St Kilda, where he played seven matches.
Simpson only came onto the Geelong Falcons' radar at the end of last year, and has played just seven games at TAC Cup level as he has battled some injuries.
But he put in one of his best games of the season last weekend against the Dandenong Stingrays, gathering 23 disposals for the Falcons and showing his classy ball use.
The Cats will get first access to Simpson under the father-son bidding system rules, and Falcons talent manager Michael Turner said Simpson's stocks have been steadily building.
"We've had to manage him all year with his injuries but when he's played, he's played really well," Turner said.
"Geelong are doing some work with him at the moment which they're entitled to as a father-son prospect and he goes down there one night a week to do a bit of specialised work and they've helped him with a couple of injuries.
"All things being equal he's a very good chance of being drafted or rookie-listed."
A back injury over the pre-season caused a delay to Simpson's start to the year, and ruled him out of contention for selection for the Vic Country side at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
However, the 180cm prospect has been invited to October's state draft combine and Turner predicts Simpson’s late development highlights his potential growth.
"He'll play forward and in the midfield when his body gets bigger and stronger. He's got some really good tricks, he's got a good step and he's very elusive," he said.
"The games that he's played when he's had a couple of games under his belt have been really good. He's young and he's got massive development left in him."
After having three first-round picks at last year's draft – Darcy Parish (No.5), Charlie Curnow (No.12), and Tom Doedee (No.17) – the Falcons' first selection this year is likely to be attacking half-back Alex Witherden.
The 17-year-old has not played since May when he broke his leg at school level, but is back running and is a slim chance to return to the field late in the year.