After bursting onto the scene in 2012, Sam Gibson has gone from strength to strength in his second year at Aegis Park.

Averaging 21.8 disposals at more than 75 per cent efficiency, he’s become a mainstay on the wing, but perhaps more impressively, he remains humble.

“I’m happy that I’m in the side. Being an older guy I had a taste of it last year and came into this year pretty nervous and keen to hold down a spot,” Gibson told

“I’m a more consistent player than I was last year but there are still things I have to work on week to week like any other player.”

Naturally the adjustment from being a dominant VFL player to establishing his name at AFL level came with some challenges for Gibson.

“When you’re growing up playing VFL and you are one of the better players you have a licence to do your own thing a bit.

“So now it’s about falling into a structure and learning when to run and when to cover off. There are going to be lapses but I’ve seen throughout the year there’s been less and less of those mistakes from week to week.”

Gibson was the captain of Box Hill during his time in the state league. Now that he has cemented his place in the senior side, his leadership experience is beginning to shine through among a young group.

“It’s slowly coming (that I can offer advice if needed). There was a sort of indecision (initially) that I was older but still inexperienced. Now that I’ve strung together a few games I feel like a senior player and now I’m more than happy if there’s something I see to say something about it.

“I can still get better at it but it’s certainly developing through time and being more comfortable with the group.”

Gibson and the club’s more experienced players have been called upon at times this season as the momentum has swung in tight matches.

“Usually when you’re not doing too well you sort of internalise and worry about yourself, years of evolution have taught us that way, which means you can go away from your role,” he added.

“For instance you might be supposed to press up on a player but you decide to stick on your guy so he doesn’t get a stat. That’s the hardest thing to try and keep doing the things you would do if you were 10 goals up as opposed to 10 goals down.”

The Kangaroos have been on the receiving end of some heart-breaking defeats as the pressure piles on late in games. It’s something the 27-year-old says can be rectified.

“Firstly you need to identify it on the field and then try to communicate to others, stick to our roles and stick to our structures.

“If you can help someone stick to our structures then that goes a long way to getting back on track.”

With North Melbourne staring at a 5-8 record with nine games to go, 2013 hasn’t hit the heights of last season, but there’s still time to turn things around.

“So far it’s been disappointing when you look at where we are on the ladder. Our win-loss ratio could have been a very different story had a few games gone the other way.

“We’re happy with the method we have going forward and all the guys are really buying in to what Brad (Scott) wants us to do, so we’re hoping for the back end of the season we can start making improvements in those small areas and get some consistency back.

“If we get our structure, do what Brad tells us and get our method right then we’re usually pretty effective.”

Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium shapes as a season-defining match for North and Gibson is under no illusions as to the importance of the game.

“Richmond are moving along really well so it’s another huge challenge for us. They (The Tigers) have a really talented list. They’ve got a few guys who are in their prime like (Brett) Deledio and (Trent) Cotchin and really senior guys. Then there are younger ones like Brandon Ellis and Nick Vlastuin.

“They’re a really talented list and we think we’re a really talented list. We’ll be giving it our all to get the result.”