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Gibbs to farewell AFL against former club

Football

Bryce Gibbs, one of the Adelaide Crows’ most scrutinised and criticised trade gambits, will finish his career against his former club Carlton on Sunday after announcing his retirement with a year left on his contract.

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He will play his farewell game as fellow Blues former Number 1 draft pick Matthew Kreuzer also calls time on his career.

“The Carlton Football Club gave me the opportunity to fulfil a boyhood dream and I cannot thank them enough,” Gibbs said in a statement.

“It was home for 11 years and the club shaped me into the person I am today, and I’ll be forever grateful for everything they have done for me.

“I have given my all in 14 seasons at the top level and I’m looking forward to playing against some of my lifelong friends one final time.”

Gibbs played 231 games and kicked 137 goals for the Blues, winning the John Nicholls Medal in 2014 and finishing top five in the Blues’ best and fairest in eight of 11 seasons at Carlton.

He unsuccessfully sought a trade to hometown club Adelaide at the end of 2016, before ultimately joining the Crows at the conclusion of the following season in a blockbuster trade that saw Adelaide hand over two first-round draft picks while receiving an array of later picks in return.

Gibbs played all 22 games in 2018 and was fourth in Adelaide’s club champion awards but fell out of favour to play just 12 games in 2019 and two this year, with his stuttering senior career a constant refrain in the Adelaide media.

“I’m so thankful to the Adelaide Football Club for giving me the chance to come home to South Australia and be closer to friends and family,” Gibbs said in his statement.

“I would have loved to have played more footy for the Crows and it’s an incredible environment here, and I’ve really enjoyed helping and trying to positively influence the younger blokes.

“Looking ahead to next year, there would have been limited opportunities for me given the club is rebuilding and the time is right to step aside and let the next generation grab their opportunity.”

It’s understood he and the club has come to an arrangement regarding the partial payment of the final year of his contract.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks said Gibbs had “shown tremendous leadership this season, despite not playing as much football as he would have liked”.

“His overall attitude and his desire to pass on his knowledge and experience to our younger players has been first class and he’s truly lived our mantra of prioritising others,” he said.

-InDaily staff and AAP

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