22/05/2024
Josh Gibson's journey to the AFL was anything but orthodox. But after extreme resilience and determination, he ended it with three premierships and two best and fairests.

Three times it took Josh Gibson before he was picked up in the draft. He would go on to win the same amount of premierships at his second club, Hawthorn.

Gibson was picked up by North Melbourne in the 2005 AFL Rookie Draft, and made his debut the next season’s first round against Port Adelaide.

The premiership defender said he missed most of the fuss which usually surrounds the National Draft.

“I’d never even went to the draft camp, I was picked up in the rookie draft, the year I was drafted it was third time lucky,” he said.

“I was already training with North Melbourne, it was Tuesday morning, we’d just finished weights and I got the phone call to say they were going to pick me up.

“It’s a super special time for them and the (draftees’) families.”

After four seasons with the Kangaroos, Gibson made the decision to join Hawthorn.

For a young player, Gibson said it was a difficult decision to make.

“When I moved clubs, it was a bit different to what it is now, there’s no free agency,” he said.

“It was a bigger deal when moving, it was a really tough time.

“It’s always hard to leave one club and trying to make a business decision for the best for your football too, it was really tough, I was overseas in America, there was a lot of back and forth with my manager and both clubs, at the end, I was lucky we were able to strike up a deal to get it done.

“I look back now and the heartache and uncertainty during trade week, the hard night sleeps came with it all paid off, I was pretty lucky to join a group of players at Hawthorn during a pretty successful era.”

It took just three years to show that Gibson had made the right decision in making the move to the Hawks, as he would line-up for the club against Sydney in the 2012 AFL Grand Final and eventually winning three in a row.

“I’m very lucky to play in a grand final, and to do that in 2012 and not win was pretty gut wrenching, but to get back the next year and win one and then go onto win three in a row, it really puts you in an elite status in terms of premierships,” he said.

“When you win one, it really justifies all the sacrifices you made.

“Very lucky to play to be a part of a premiership as not everyone gets to experience that and to play four grand finals in a row and win three of them, it’s stuff you dream of.”

Read about Josh Gibson’s business venture here.

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