Lyon outlines Simpson saga
Lyon outlines Simpson saga

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has detailed the numerous challenges facing youngster Josh Simpson after the midfielder refused to fly to Sydney to be an emergency for tonight's loss to the Swans.

The Dockers lost tonight's game 13.14 (92) to 11.9 (75) after failing to score a goal during the second term.

But after the match, the hottest topic of conversation was Simpson's decision to remain in Perth. Lyon made it clear that Simpson "was supposed to fly and didn't turn up" after being dropped following last week's win over Essendon.

But he said the club would remain patient with the first round draft pick.

Here is what Lyon said after the match.

"He has a number of family, cultural and attitudenal situations to work through. He'd done enough to be picked but in this case, clearly Josh was disappointed about being out of the team. So, he's basically dropped his bundle," Lyon said.

"So, that's what's occurred there. But in previous times Josh has gone home for cultural reasons. They might be family illnesses and Western medicine versus traditional medicine where there's a need to go home. He's a young father with two children so there's a lot of pressures there.

"And his background of foundation, he hasn't walked out of Hale School with a silver spoon in his mouth. He comes from North West, 500km North West of Perth and he's been through, in his life, trying circumstances.

"Therefore we're trying to build a base and nurture and work with Josh and counsel and also at times discipline and encourage Josh to be able to handle the rigours of AFL football. That is a big transition that is occuring.

"It occurred to the point where Josh was able to play last week. But even last week there were some cultural issues that saw Josh return home to Mullewa during the week for certain health reasons.

"So, when you put all that together, it's really trying circumstances for us as a football club because sometimes you're trying to do what the education system, families, mentors, elders and the government can't quite do.

"So, we're working through all those things with Josh. But in this particular instance, it's been an attitudenal (thing) and taking your bat and ball and going home, in this case. No, I haven't run out of patience.

"We're here to support the person and challenge the action or the behaviour. In this situation we'll clearly come together as a football club, leaders and with Josh and with his management and talk about potential ramifications and what it means and how he needs to earn the trust back."

The Dockers will meet this week to discuss Simpson's plight but Lyon said he wouldn't be abandoned.

"We're talking about a kid that has played two games. I certainly don't get seduced by talent.

"But in the short period that I've been there and prior to me, no-one will leave our football club without knowing, being fully resourced, given every opportunity. If you end up not being with our football club, you've actually chosen that in the end.

"So let's hope we don't get to that point."

The West Australian

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