Coolamon product Michael Gibbons is not getting his hopes up ahead of the AFL Draft on Thursday and Friday.
Gibbons has attracted more interest from AFL clubs this year than in recent times but has learnt not to get his hopes up when it comes to the Draft.
The 23-year-old is considered one of the most accomplished footballers outside the AFL system but has been overlooked for five straight years.
Gibbons has held talks with five AFL clubs over the past couple of months on the back of his best season yet in the VFL.
The Williamstown midfielder hopes to finally get his chance come Friday.
“I’m in a good spot and mindset about it all,” Gibbons said.
“I’ve worked out that footy is not the be all end all like I thought at 18.
“There’s been a bit of media about me but it’s pretty easy to block that out. I’ve done all I can and if it comes off, it comes off, it it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.”
Only one Melbourne-based club has been in talks with Gibbons with most of the interest coming from interstate.
Gibbons won his second JJ Liston Trophy this year, sharing it with Anthony Miles, who has since been traded from Richmond to Gold Coast. He also won Williamstown’s best and fairest for the first time this season.
Gibbons rates this season as his best yet.
“This year was definitely my best year of footy,” he said.
“I stepped up in a leadership role as well.”
He is unsure whether his personal best season will result in an increased chance of getting picked up.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I’ve had some interest, a few meetings and call backs but you don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said.
Gibbons made his senior debut for Coolamon as a 15-year-old and went on to play in a grand final for the Hoppers later that year.
He also spent time at Lavington, before playing the past five seasons at Williamstown. There, he has won a premiership, won the Norm Goss Medal for best-on-ground in the VFL grand final and won two JJ Liston Trophies.
Gibbons has also represented Victoria, where he won the Frank Johnston Medal in 2016 for being the best player in the loss to South Australia in 2016.
The Draft will be conducted over two days this year with the first round to be held on Thursday night, before the remaining picks and rookie draft to be completed on Friday after midday.
Gibbons will watch Thursday night unfold on television, before heading to work on Friday like any other day.
“I’m alright. I’m in a good spot and no holding out for it or anything,” he said.
“I’ll definitely watch it and I’m at work on Friday so I’ll wait and see what happens.”