Kangaroos lock in co-captain Jy Simpkin until 2029

·2-min read
Jonathan Di Maggio/AAP PHOTOS

North Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin says it was a no-brainer to commit his long-term future to the club after signing a five-year contract extension.

The dual Syd Barker medallist as club best and fairest was due to come out of contract and enter the free agency frenzy at the end of next year.

But the 25-year-old is now tied to the Kangaroos until the end of 2029 after signing a five-year extension on Friday.

He was the second Roo this week to re-sign for the club, following on from prized draftee George Wardlaw inking a two-year contract extension to remain at Arden Street until at least the end of 2026.

"I've been here for six or seven years now, and I love this place. I love the club, my teammates and the coaching staff," Simpkin said in a statement.

"I have a lot of respect for everyone at the club, so when my management and the club came together to talk about a long-term deal, it was a no-brainer."

Simpkin has played 124 games for the Kangaroos since being taken with pick No.12 in the 2016 national draft.

When North Melbourne stalwart Ben Cunnington was sidelined for most of 2020, Simpkin stepped up to lead the club's midfield with maturity and composure.

He elevated his game again in 2021 to claim his maiden club best and fairest, and he backed it up in 2022 when he averaged a team-high 26 disposals and five clearances per game.

Simpkin was promoted to co-captain alongside Luke McDonald at the beginning of 2023 after long-serving skipper Jack Ziebell stepped down.

A proud Yorta Yorta man, his appointment as co-captain made him the first Indigenous captain in the club's history.

The re-signing of Simpkin and Wardlaw comes at a tumultuous time for the Kangaroos after coach Alastair Clarkson took indefinite leave last week.

Clarkson stood down from his role to focus on his mental health in the wake of the drawn-out investigation into claims of alleged racism during his stint at Hawthorn.

Brett Ratten has taken over the Kangaroos head coach role until Clarkson is ready to return, and his first match in charge resulted in a three-point loss to Sydney last week.

The 17th-placed Kangaroos (2-8) will be at long odds to snap an eight-match losing run when they take on ladder-leaders Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.