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Bryce right for Crows

Katrina Gill  October 19, 2017 3:27 PM

Welcome Bryce Gibbs Highlights of Adelaide's newest recruit Bryce Gibbs
AFL 2010 Rd 14 - Carlton v Brisbane

Sam Jacobs and Bryce Gibbs in their early Carlton days

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I know what I’ve done in my career to-date won’t account for anything

Recruit Bryce Gibbs says he’s still coming to terms with being traded to Adelaide 12 months after first seeking a move home to South Australia.

Gibbs, who was contracted to Carlton until 2019, requested a trade to the Crows at the end of last season but the two clubs were unable to agree on a satisfactory deal.

On Thursday, Adelaide finally secured Gibbs in an exchange of picks with the Blues.

For a deal seemingly a long time in the making, Gibbs said things had moved quickly towards the end of the trade period.

“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride,” Gibbs said on Thursday.

“It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while, but to get to the point where it’s a realistic option, and then for it to be a done deal the next minute – it doesn’t quite feel real.

“I have mixed emotions. It’s been hard ringing people who I’ve been so close with at Carlton for the last 11 years, but at the same time it’s exciting knowing I’ll be back in my home state and at the Crows.”

Gibbs, 28, put the disappointment of last year’s unsuccessful trade bid behind him to complete another remarkably consistent season for Carlton.

The classy midfielder averaged 27 possessions and kicked 17 goals. He was one of the form players of the competition in the middle of the season, collecting 30 or more disposals in seven games between rounds nine and 17.

He amassed a season-high 43 possessions, 10 tackles, seven clearances and two goals in a brilliant individual display against Gold Coast in Round 13.

Gibbs led the Blues for clearances (109) and tackles (123), this year and ranked second at the club for inside 50ms (79), contested possessions (223) and score involvements (123).

“Once the trade didn’t happen last year, I was pretty clear in my mind that I just had to move on,” Gibbs said.

“I couldn’t really look too far ahead because it wouldn’t have been fair to myself, to Carlton or Adelaide.

“I needed to move on and I think by doing that I was able to have another good year of footy.

“Towards the end of the year, you start thinking about it again. But 12 months is a long time in footy, and I didn’t know whether that opportunity (to join Adelaide) was going to be there again.

“Fortunately, enough there was still some interest. The end of season came, the trade period started again and it seemed to gain more momentum.

“Now, suddenly here we are.”

A combination of factors contributed to Gibbs’ decision to pursue a trade to Adelaide.

The former Glenelg junior got engaged to long-time partner, Lauren, in Fiji earlier this month. The couple has a young son, Charlie.

Gibbs said joining the Crows presented compelling life and football opportunities. 

“Being close to family is a big one. For Charlie and, hopefully we have some more kids in the future, to grow up around grandparents and family is something that’s pretty important to us,” he said.

“Coming to a club like Adelaide, who are in a pretty strong position in terms of where they are as a footy club on and off the field presents some exciting challenges as well. But I know full well that there are no guarantees in this competition – it’s as even as it’s ever been.

“When you put those things together it was an opportunity to grab with both hands.”

Gibbs already has some strong ties at the Crows.

Friend and former Blues teammate Sam Jacobs was one of the first to welcome the 2014 best and fairest winner to West Lakes. Gibbs also played alongside Crows forward Eddie Betts at Carlton.

“I’ve got really good relationships with those two, especially. We’ve continued our friendship over the journey and it’s exciting to be reunited with them,” Gibbs said.

“I lived with ‘Sauce’ (Jacobs) in Melbourne for a couple of years and consider him one of my best mates.

“Sauce was certainly on the phone a lot during the year and kept checking if I still wanted to come to the Club, which was great.

“He’s overseas at the moment and I know he’s been waking up at 3am in the US just to see how things were progressing in the trade period. He’s been all over it!”

Gibbs signed a four-year deal with Adelaide, which will see him play until at least the end of 2021

The durable onballer has played 231 of a possible 248 matches since making his AFL debut against Richmond in Round One, 2007.

Only ex-Blues teammate Kade Simpson and Melbourne veteran Nathan Jones have played more home and away games than Gibbs since his debut year.

Gibbs, who has played a variety of roles over 11 seasons, is yet to speak in detail with Crows coach Don Pyke about his possible role in the team going forward and understands he’ll have to earn respect again.

“I know what I’ve done in my career to-date won’t account for anything. It won’t put me in front of anyone on the list at the moment,” he said.

“It’ll be back to school a little bit, head down and bum up. I’ll work extremely hard to get that respect from playing group.

“Hopefully, I can cement a spot in the side and play a role for the team. Who knows what can be achieved in the next period of time at the Adelaide Football Club.”