DAWSON Simpson cherishes every one of his 48 AFL matches.
But the unbridled joy on the towering Myrtleford recruit's face after relocating to Porepunkah this week says he's more than ready for the next phase of his career.
The 210-centimetre ruckman met coach Jake Sharp for the first time face-to-face on Wednesday before enjoying a meet and greet at McNamara Reserve on Thursday evening.
"I couldn't be happier," Simpson said.
"I'm really stoked about life right now.
"Living in such a beautiful place and enjoying my family is something we have been looking forward to for a while now.
"Getting out of Sydney is huge in itself.
"We're starting a new chapter in our lives."
After 14 operations at Geelong and Greater Western Sydney, Simpson, 30, plans to give himself a mini-break before starting work at Myrtleford.
He's also looking forward to freshening up mentally.
"I'll have a few weeks off to give my body a rest," he said.
"The pressures of AFL footy are immense.
"Having them for 12 years has been weighing on my shoulders for a while.
"Trying to get a game as a fringe player each week can be frustrating, can be exhilarating and all of the above.
"To be honest, since I've been at the Giants my body took a turn for the better."
Simpson has watched Myrtleford's stunning improvement closely this season as the seniors charged into the preliminary final and the thirds took out the premiership.
He said it was hard not to be excited as the Saints put the disappointment of previous seasons behind him.
"This season I followed the Ovens and Murray quite closely, especially Myrtleford," he said.
"The thirds were enormous considering they didn't have a side last year."
Although Simpson was squeezed out of a spot in the grand final by Shane Mumford, he said it was difficult watching the side being smashed by Richmond.
"It was pretty hard going out on the ground after the siren with the boys on grand final day," he said.
"It's the fourth time I've done that.
"I did it three times at Geelong for two wins and a loss and now GWS."
Simpson will be an assistant coach in his first season at Myrtleford before teaming up with Sharp as co-coaches.
He will either be co-coaching or coaching the club on his own in 2022.