THERE isn’t much that Michael Gibbons hasn’t achieved when it comes to the VFL.
His record speaks for itself.
A two-time J.J. Liston Trophy winner, a spot in three consecutive VFL Teams of the Year, a Norm Goss Medal as best-on-ground in a Grand Final, a premiership player and a Frank Johnson Medal as best player for his state.
Now, add VFL Life Member to the list.
At the age of just 24, Gibbons was inducted at last night’s J.J. Liston Trophy/Lambert-Pearce Medal as one of AFL Victoria’s six newest Life Members.
After five years in the state league competition, Gibbons AFL dream was finally realised thanks to Carlton back in February — but it was a long road for the former Murray Bushrangers captain.
Gibbons was made to do it the hard way, consistently starring for Williamstown before finally making his way onto an AFL list in 2019.
The mature-age recruit grabbed the opportunity with both hands, only missing the final game through injury in a debut year which yielded 16 goals from 21 games.
"I serve 64,000 members... what they want is to see Carlton successful again."#BoundByBlue— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) September 8, 2019
“It’s been a massive 12 months for myself after missing out on the draft again,” Gibbons said at Crown Palladium.
“I owe everything I guess to not only the VFL, but also to Williamstown. I made the decision to go there six years ago and I made some of my best mates there.
“The VFL gave me every opportunity, I got to play in a couple of state games to showcase my talent, won a Grand Final in 2015 — it’s a great way to put your name up in lights.
Gibbons wasn’t the only Blue to be acknowledged at the VFL and VFLW’s night of nights.
AFLW-listed defender Jayde Van Dyk made the VFLW Team of the Year after starring for Hawthorn, while Jess and Sarah Hosking tied in sixth place in the Lambert-Pearce Medal.
Second time's the charm!— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) September 9, 2019
Well done, Sam Fisher - named in the 2019 VFL Team of the Year. #Northbound
Meanwhile, VFL midfielder Sam Fisher became the fourth Northern Blue in as many seasons to be named in the VFL Team of the Year after being named on a half-forward flank.
Long-serving Northern Blues General Manager Garry O’Sullivan - now at the Casey Demons - was also inducted as an AFL Victoria Life Member. O’Sullivan spent 12 years at Preston City Oval, with Grand Final appearances in 2009 and 2010 before overseeing the Club’s transition from the Northern Bullants to Northern Blues.