The Carlton veteran got his wish a year later than he initially hoped with the two clubs agreeing to a last-ditch deal that will see him play out his career on a four-year contract.
The 29-year-old said he tried not to get his hopes up after last season’s disappointment.
“After how it all played out last year, I was pretty wary to put myself up there and the club up there again and for a deal not to be worked out again,” Gibbs said.
“So, before I made that decision to ask to be traded back home, I wanted to make sure it was 95-96 per cent sure all parties could get a fair and reasonable trade out of it.
“It got to a point it was pretty late in the piece again, which was probably not ideal but that’s how it unfolded again and I’m just grateful Carlton were able to listen to my request.”
Gibbs said that saying farewell to his Melbourne family for the past 11 years at Carlton pulled at the “heart-strings”.
“Once it was a done deal, it sort of hit home a little bit and I usually don’t get too emotional, but it pulled on a couple of heart-strings and it was all a reality,” he said.
Gibbs called teammates Marc Murphy and Kade Simpson and said despite their disappointment he would be leaving with their best wishes.
“They are friendships I’ve built over the last 11 years with a lot of guys (and) I’ll cherish that forever,” said Gibbs, who has played 231 games there.
Gibbs was excited to join the likes of Rory Sloane at the AFL grand finalists and said it was like being drafted again.
“I’ve got some new football challenges ahead of me, but you’re certainly not guaranteed anything in this competition anymore,” he said.
“You want to earn the respect of your teammates again and that’s what I’ll do.”
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