Simpson cannot resist the lure of management
It was more out of respect and courtesy than anything else that saw Paul Simpson driving down to Shrewsbury earlier this year.
He had been invited down for an interview for the position of manager and, being a decent sort of man, went to hear what they had to say.
Several months had passed since Simpson had been sacked by Preston in November 2007 with the team 21st in the Championship table and he had been enjoying his time away from the stresses of management.
Simpson had been doing some work for the Football Association, helping Brian Eastwick with the England Under-19 team. He had been on a scouting trip to Serbia. It was enjoyable and low pressure.
The 42-year-old had realised in the weeks after leaving North End how little opportunity he had while in management to watch his sons. One referees, another son plays rugby while Jake is on the books at Blackburn Rovers.
And so it was with a completely open mind that Simpson met the chairman, vice-chairman and managing director of the Shrews, but after a couple of hours Simpson realised the scale of ambition these men had for the club.
"It was something that I could get my teeth into and it definitely appealed to me," Simpson told me.
"The last time I had gone to Shrewsbury they were in the old stadium at Gay Meadow and that was not an attractive proposition.
"But the club is ambitious and wants to get out of League Two at a time when some clubs seem happy to survive in the division."
Football managers work incredibly hard, it is a time-intensive all-consuming job that demands total commitment. I have asked numerous managers if they could put a figure on how many phone calls they make and receive a week or how many hours they work. The answer is always the same and goes something along the lines of "I have no idea at all. It is impossible to put a figure on it".
Simpson had a conversation with his wife after leaving Preston. She asked him if there was anything else he wanted to do. Simpson is a bright man who has a degree in sports science but what he wanted to be more than anything else is a football manager. Why?
"There is a pressure and stress but I know for a fact that every single time we play at home there are five and a half thousand people who would like to swap with me," added Simpson.
"The week after a win - whether director, player, manager or supporter - is so much more enjoyable. We are fortunate in that we can influence so many people's lives and make them better."
And so far Simpson has been doing a pretty good job of making people's lives better.
After taking over at the club in early March, the former winger fulfilled his first aim of ensuring the club avoided relegation and then set about rebuilding during the summer.
His signing of Grant Holt from Nottingham Forest for a club record £170,000 certainly caught the eye. Not that many clubs spend that sort of money in League Two but Simpson is not interested in any talk of his arrival being a statement of intent. He also brushes to one side Shrewsbury's status as pre-season favourites. After all, as Simpson acknowledges he has no control over what others predict, say or think about his club.
What Simpson is hoping for is a little bit of luck along the way. His team came through pre-season without any injury problems but have lost experienced trio Graham Coughlan, Paul Murray and David Hunt since the campaign began.
Simpson has tried to bring in people with experience of success in the Football League, footballers who know what it is to win promotion. He knows that the facilities at the club are worthy of a higher division. The £15m Prostar Stadium opened in 2007 and is an all-seater ground with a capacity of 9,875. But the manager is quick to point out that "it is the football team that determines what level you play at". And he cites Leicester and Leeds as recent examples to prove his point.
The Shrews boss is a man who knows what it is to win promotion from League Two, having done so with Carlisle in 2006. Simpson reckons the division is stronger now and cites the likes of Bradford, Lincoln and Brentford as teams that he expects to have a real push for promotion.
Nonetheless, Shrewsbury have won both their League fixtures so far this season and sit second in the table.
Simpson is pleased with the start and thinks the club have made real progress since he arrived. But ask him about promotion and he will tell you "there is a hell of a long way to go". He is busy keeping feet on the ground and ensuring nobody gets too carried away.
He still wants to make changes to his squad, there are 26 professionals at the club and Simpson knows it is too many. There is more wheeling and dealing to be done. In other words, it is business as normal for a manager desperate to do the best he can.
After he was sacked at Preston, Simpson knew he wanted to "get back on the bike" and having done so at Shrewsbury it seems the likeable 42-year-old has no intention of getting off anytime soon.