IT was a full circle moment as Carlton midfielder Michael Gibbons spent his Sunday afternoon watching Williamstown overcome the Northern Blues.
It was a timely reminder for the first-year Blue, with the two-time Liston Trophy winner once a star of the Seagulls midfield before getting a chance at Ikon Park having been overlooked in six prior drafts.
The 24-year old arrived at Ikon Park a ready-made footballer, playing all 17 games so far in his debut year in Navy Blue.
An integral component over the last month’s impressive run of form, his tireless efforts around the ground have been invaluable in the four wins from the last six games.
Gibbons - speaking to Triple M on Sunday - credits the Blues’ turnaround in form to an increase in training intensity.
“[The message from David Teague was] let’s really go for it, lift our training intensity and let’s train the way we actually really want to play,” Gibbons said.
“The last six weeks we’ve had at training have probably been the most intense training I’ve had, besides the pre-season obviously.”
Arriving at the Blues as a rookie via the supplementary selection period, Gibbons reflected on his AFL journey so far and all that has gone with it.
“The first opportunity I got came with ‘Doc’ [Sam Docherty] injuring his knee again earlier in the year, but then obviously I wasn’t guaranteed a spot on the list,” he said.
“I sort of had to put my life on hold again and just train with the boys, so from there it was sort of all in and go for it.
“Luckily enough I impressed enough to get a spot on the list and have been going alright since then.”
The weekend’s victory over Gold Coast represented another even contribution across the playing group, with skipper Patrick Cripps held to 18 disposals.
Gibbons was pleased to see the ‘play-your-role’ mentality come to fruition in a victory that saw the Blues record 11 individual goalkickers for the first time in six years.
“You talk about Crippa obviously not having to shoulder a load [on Saturday], other blokes stepped up,” he said.
“I guess that’s why we’ve become a better team, with even contributions all over the park.”