JY SIMPKIN'S whirlwind start to his AFL career has continued with the exciting North Melbourne forward signing a two-year contract with the club.
Simpkin, who was selected with pick No.12 at last year's NAB AFL Draft, has played three games so far in his debut season and impressed enough for the Roos to lock him in until at least the end of 2020.
"The club approached my manager about doing another contract and I was all for it," Simpkin told AFL.com.au.
"I love being at the club and it's where I want to stay for my career, so I was stoked to have that and sign to the end of 2020, which is awesome.
"I hope I can stay there for as long as I can and help the club towards as much success as possible."
The 19-year-old made his debut in round one against West Coast, and last week booted two goals from 13 disposals in the Roos' tight loss to the Western Bulldogs in the Good Friday clash.
His speed, awareness and smarts with the ball have stood out as North searches for its next wave of players, but even Simpkin has surprised himself with how he has adapted to the top level.
Simpkin broke his leg at school level last year and missed the majority of the season, and also suffered complications in his recovery which further set back his return to the field.
His limited pre-season saw him adjust his hopes for his first AFL season, but he's quickly exceeded them.
"I didn’t really expect to play so just to be out there each week has been awesome and everyone at the club has been great," he said.
"I came into the year with hopes to play as much as possible, but with not doing any pre-season and only starting at train at the start of February, I thought maybe I might not get to play at the start of the year and it might take until the middle once I'd done enough to show them I can play.
"But they got me right within a couple of weeks to play in the pre-season competition and then it's all gone from there. It's all happened really quickly to be honest."
Last year felt like a much longer wait. Simpkin struggled with missing most of his under-18 season, losing the chance to play in the national carnival, and being robbed of a shot of taking on his contemporaries.
"I've got some resilience from it. If I ever had another long injury again I think I'd be able to work through it a lot better than how I dealt with the one last year. Mentally I think I'd be able to push through the hard times in a different way," Simpkin said.
"I've already been through something that's pretty hard so any other challenges that come up I know I'll have been through that one and can work off that. I can get through whatever else comes at me. Hopefully nothing does, but it's good to know."
Jy Simpkin takes on Bulldog Jason Johannisen on Good Friday. Picture: AFL Photos
Simpkin's signing coincides with North's launch of its Indigenous Round guernsey for this year's clash with Carlton on May 28, in round 10.
The jumper, which has been named 'Tribal', was designed by artist Sarrita King with assistance from Canterbury, the club's apparel partner, along with current players Lindsay Thomas, Jed Anderson and former midfielder Daniel Wells.
Simpkin is one of four indigenous players on North's list, alongside Thomas, Anderson and ex-Giant Paul Ahern, and said Thomas had been a close mentor in his time at North.
"It would mean a lot to wear the jumper that round on the big stage," Simpkin said.
"Lindsay's been awesome to me, he's probably the one who's reached out the most. He's really taken me under his wing and has had me over for dinner once ever couple of weeks. He's really helped me with all the game plans and whenever we're out on the ground he's doing whatever he can to help me, so it's been great."