The 1992 AFL grand final was the "best day and worst day" of Sean Simpson's life.
After being recruited by St Kilda from the East Ballarat Football Club and then finding his way to Geelong, Simpson enjoyed a long and somewhat successful career at the elite level, but ultimately came up short of premiership glory.
The now 50-year-old was part of the Cats' side that lost to the West Coast Eagles in that decider and is now turning to his son Sam hoping he can go one better in the blue and white hoops this weekend.
Simpson said his AFL grand final experience was one of mixed emotions and hopes Sam doesn't have to go through the troughs he suffered close to three decades ago.
"The build-up was amazing. Grand final parade on the Friday, Geelong the town was really buzzing and when the final siren went it was a really hollow feeling and took a bit of getting over to be honest," he said.
"It will be great if Sam doesn't have to experience that on the weekend.
"My experiences of losing were pretty shattering so I'd rather he didn't go through that but I think he's got a 50-50 chance of having a win this week.
"I think they're both pretty evenly matched teams and on a neutral venue I just think it should be a great opportunity for the youth of Geelong and also the experience of (Tom) Hawkins and (Joel) Selwood and the like to maybe get the job done. Hopefully that's the case."
Simpson grew up in Springbank and went to St Kilda alongside great local footballers Tony Lockett, Danny Frawley and Greg Burns. But after just three seasons with the Saints - and only seven senior games - Simpson moved on to Geelong, where he would eventually play in 10 finals across 114 matches.
When his AFL career came to an end, Simpson returned home to play with the Tigers and enjoyed success in the 2000 and 2001 Central Highlands Football League grand finals.
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He said those triumphs - the only flags of his senior career - were a "humbling experience".
"It was just great to do it with brothers and cousins and I think there might have been three or four Simpsons in the team," he told The Courier.
"There was also some school mates who I went to primary school with.
"It was just good to treat footy as a sport again rather than be semi-professional as it was back in my day."
Sam, who has no real ties to the Ballarat region except for family, was taken by the Cats late in the 2017 rookie draft under the father-son rule.
But he certainly wasn't a hit in the senior ranks early in his career. He got just six games across 2017 and 2018 and then played solely VFL in 2019, winning the club's best and fairest award for that season.
More opportunities finally came this year and Simpson has featured in eight AFL matches, including the semi-final and preliminary final.
He looks a good chance of holding his spot for the grand final after collecting 14 disposals during the side's big win over the Brisbane Lions last Saturday night.
Geelong will take on a Richmond side chasing its third premiership in the past four seasons.
The Tigers are set to be represented by David Astbury and Daniel Rioli, who both came through the North Ballarat Rebels system.
Saturday night's clash will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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