June 25, 2024

BRYCE Gibbs experienced a sense of nostalgia on Friday.

It was a merging of two worlds as Carlton conducted their captain’s run at Stratarama Stadium on the eve of the Gather Round clash, with the Blues temporarily adopting Glenelg Football Club’s venue for the day.

For those familiar with the history, the connection between the Blues and the Bays is evident. The Kernahan End serves as a reminder, while current players Sam Durdin and Ashton Moir were both recruited from Glenelg.

Not to mention former Carlton captain Andrew McKay and the 2014 John Nicholls Medallist Gibbs himself. In essence, it’s quite a distinguished group.

AFL: Adelaide's Bryce Gibbs to retire after facing former club Carlton |  The Australian

As Gibbs entered the venue with his family, the fans present weren’t just thrilled to see their current favorite players but also those from the past.

“It’s quite remarkable, actually! Witnessing both the Tigers and the Blues colors here simultaneously is truly special,” Gibbs remarked.

“Even walking in here today, a few people wanted autographs and photos — I’m washed up! It feels like a long time ago, but people are still really nice.

“We know that wherever we travel in Australia, the Carlton faithful turn up in big numbers. I’m looking forward to watching the game tomorrow in the crowd as a supporter; there’s going to be thousands of Blues supporters there doing the same thing.”

The gathering also offered Gibbs the opportunity to catch up with some former teammates, including Patrick Cripps and Jacob Weitering, who featured alongside him in his last few years at Carlton.

And then there’s Charlie Curnow, of course, whom Gibbs’ own son Charlie made a beeline for, as the two have struck up quite the relationship in years gone by. For Bryce, seeing his kids embrace his former club has been heartening.

“They’ve pulled out a couple of the old guernseys. Charlie is at an age where he’s really loving his footy and watching the Blues every week, and Madison as well is starting to get into it.

“They’re even more excited to be here than me.

“It was little [four-week-old] Bailey’s first outing today. If we were going to get him out of the house, it was going to be at a Carlton event! He’s getting a taste of it nice and early, which is good.”

It was also an eventful offseason for Gibbs concerning two modern-day Blues, as the former Glenelg superstar surprised draftee Moir the day after he was drafted to IKON Park.

Then there’s the story of Ollie Hollands switching from the No.14 to the No.4 jersey, driven by his admiration for Gibbs during his time as a young player at Carlton.

“It was a touching moment [with Ashton]. With the Glenelg connection, I watched him closely in the under-18s and the state side last year. For him to get picked up by Carlton, I think they were pretty happy he slid that far: he’s an amazing talent, hopefully he plays a lot of games for Carlton.

“I was thrilled when Ollie got the No.4 jersey. I followed him on social media and sent him a message just to let him know to look after it for me!

“He’s great. He had a really strong first year and has cemented himself in the side. I’m looking forward to seeing him thrive in the No.4 jersey.”

Bryce Gibbs Just Had One Of The All-Time Great Games | Triple M

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