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From FoxSports.com.au

 Mike Owen/AFL Media/Getty Images.

Michael Gibbons was once again overlooked by all AFL clubs. Photo: Mike Owen/AFL Media/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

What more does Michael Gibbons need to do to get onto an AFL list?

The Williamstown VFL player is a dual JJ Liston Trophy winner (VFL Best & Fairest Winner) at just 23 years of age, but continues to be snubbed by AFL clubs.

Former Melbourne and Sydney coach Paul Roos told Fox Footy’s On The Couch in August that Gibbons was worthy of a spot on an AFL list and could help struggling clubs down the bottom of the ladder.

The three-time VFL Team of the Year winner also won the 2015 Norm Goss Medal as the best player in the VFL Grand Final.

“Now Micky Gibbons is now playing for Williamstown in the VFL, he was as standout young kid that played I think two years in the Rams (NSW-ACT) program as a bottom-age kid and played as a top-age kid.

“Now the only real criticism is that he’s not big, you see him here he’s 175cm but just your classic kid that keeps getting the football over and over again.”

 Michael Dodge/AFL Media/Getty Images.

Gibbons poses with the Norm Goss Medal in 2015. Photo: Michael Dodge/AFL Media/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

Gibbons’ VFL teammates Lachlan Schultz, Brett Bewley and Ben Cavarra were selected in the national draft, but former AFL player Jack Fitzpatrick was one of many who advocated for the prospect to be taken by a club.

“Memo to every single AFL club. The three Williamstown VFL players taken thus far are very good players. BUT, Michael Gibbons is still available, and you’re actually allowed to recruit,” he tweeted on Friday.

“I repeat; Gibbons — Willi’s best player — is STILL available!”

Jack Fitzpatrick@jfitzpatrick_t1

Memo to every single @AFL club:

The 3 @WilliamstownFC @VFL players taken thus far are very good players. BUT, Michael Gibbons is still available, and you’re actually allowed to recruit him.

I repeat; Gibbons - Willi’s best player - is STILL available!

219

2:00 PM - Nov 23, 2018

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Former AFL player and current Williamstown VFL assistant coach Peter Banfield was another who threw his support around the midfielder, who averaged 26.4 disposals in 2018.

“I just don’t (get) it that no one took him, seriously, he is the best player in the VFL.”

Paul Amy@PaulAmy375

 · Nov 23, 2018

A bumper day for the VFL, one of its best draft hauls. But you’d have a heart of stone if you didn’t feel for Michael Gibbons. The Williamstown midfielder, clothed in honours and achievement, missed out on both drafts. It’s a brutal game....

Peter Banfield@Peter_Banfield_

I just don't it that no one took him, seriously, he is the best player in the VFL

16

6:02 PM - Nov 23, 2018

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Paul Amy@PaulAmy375

A bumper day for the VFL, one of its best draft hauls. But you’d have a heart of stone if you didn’t feel for Michael Gibbons. The Williamstown midfielder, clothed in honours and achievement, missed out on both drafts. It’s a brutal game....

147

5:45 PM - Nov 23, 2018

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Jason Bennett@JasonBennettTV

A great mystery, Steve. Thoughts of entire @VFL community go out to @michaelgibbons I’m sure. Once disappointment eases, I really hope he keeps getting better & kicks the door in at next level. Deserves it & State League footy needs guys like Gibbo to set the standard.

Steve Browne@browneboysteve5

Replying to @JasonBennettTV @WerribeeFC

How does arguably the best of the lot in Gibbons continually miss the bus?? Kid cant so anymore

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6:58 PM - Nov 23, 2018

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Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

inexplicable really, i just don't get it, hope he wins the Liston again next year and then surely someone will have to give him a go

CGull

Looks like Carlton will pick up Michael Gibbons to replace Sam Docherty,not as dominant a player as Lambert but not far from it,good luck to him.

Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

Where did you find that out CGull? It was just announced yesterday that he had re-signed with Willi. Can Carlton do that? I thought they would have to elevate one of their rookies first.

CGull

They'll put Docherty on the long term injury list which creates a spot,came from the doyen,Paul Amy

NorthPort
NorthPort's picture

There would be an out clause in his contract to say if a position becomes available on an AFL list then they can break contract. 

Best if luck to him! Hope he really performs well and makes the draft look silly for ignoring him. 

 


Bearsman
Bearsman's picture

Carlton also invited Matt Cotrell from the Stingrays to train with them as well as Gibbons. Both are midfielders and wouldnt be seen as replacements for Docherty. Carlton still has two spots left on its list, so either or both can get on it if they impress over the summer.

Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

Its in the Herald-Sun so it MUST be true!

VFL star Michael Gibbons to train with Carlton in hope of securing spot on Blues’ rookie list

JON RALPH, Herald Sun

December 13, 2018 5:21pm

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Carlton have extended a lifeline to the VFL’s dominant player Michael Gibbons as they consider how to fill two vacant spots on their list.

Williamstown champion Gibbons has continually been overlooked by AFL recruiters despite a phenomenal record that includes two Liston Trophies and a runner-up placing in the past three years.

Gibbons, who was shattered to again be overlooked in the national and rookie drafts last month, will start training at Carlton on Friday morning.

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The Blues have also invited Dandenong Stingray Matthew Cottrell to train with the club as a running player they considered as a late pick in the rookie draft.

The pair are the only two players to training with the Blues list over the summer.

Michael Gibbons has been dominant for some time at VFL level. Pic: Getty Images

Carlton said the pair might train with the club through February, with the Blues having until March 15 to sign players under new rookie rules.

Gibbons has just re-signed with Williamstown for 2019, meaning he will play VFL again if the Blues do not sign him up.

This week his coach Andy Collins told the Herald Sun the rookie system was broken because clubs no longer were prepared to take chances with left-field selections.

But Gibbons, who works from 6am to midday as a carpet layer before going to university and then football training, now has a chance to prove his worth.

Gibbons is just 175cm but boasts a stunning record that includes four consecutive Team of the Year jumpers and best-afield honours in the 2015 Grand Final and a representative state game.

Gibbons, who tied with Richmond’s Anthony Miles in this year’s Liston Trophy, has few flaws in his game and amazing consistency.

Anthony Miles and Michael Gibbons tied for the 2018 JJ Liston Trophy. Picture: Paul Amy

In the TAC Cup he averaged 119 ranking points, in the Under-18 championships he averaged 141 ranking points and his last three seasons he has averaged 118, 105 and 110 ranking points.

The number one ranked VFL midfielder, he averaged 28.4 disposals, 6.2 inside 50 (ranked No.1) 7.2 clearances (ranked fourth) and six score involvements (ranked fifth).

In a competition where smaller players like Western Bulldog Caleb Daniel have still made a strong impact, it seems staggering a club would not hand him an opportunity.

Gibbons is the same height as Brisbane’s Dayne Zorko and taller than Essendon’s Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (171cm).

As a pure ball winner he might also be suited as a pressuring small forward if the Blues don’t need his midfield presence.

Carlton has already ruled out recruiting an experienced player like Essendon’s Brendon Goddard with its rookie list spots.

Matthew Cottrell will also train with the Blues. Picture: Hamish Blair

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