Ahead of the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, North Media is looking back at some of the club’s best draft selections and bargains.
Selected by Hawthorn at pick 37 at the 2007 Rookie Draft, Sam Gibson was forced to bide his time ... for a long time.
Delisted by the Hawks, he had to wait until 2011 before another opportunity arose, with several seasons at VFL level and an engineering degree under his belt.
At 25-years-old, Gibson arrived at Arden Street with pick 63 and quickly made his presence felt. A fitness machine, he excelled in pre-season time trials and at the age of 26 and 20 days, finally made his debut in round 12 of 2012.
Lining up on the wing, he had an immediate impact; a debut performance of 18 disposals was the start of an impressive run of form – 21.6 possessions a game and a finals appearance capping off a big first season.
Already with experience as captain at the Box Hill Hawks, Gibson was promoted to the Roos’ leadership group in just his third season.
A picture of consistency, he played a key role in the club’s finals’ campaign in 2014 and 2015, with a career-high 615 disposals (24.6 a game) in ’14.
Gibson starred in wins over Essendon and Geelong and again stood tall in against Richmond and Sydney the following year.
By the time he departed North in 2017, he’d played 130 straight games, the perfect illustration of his reliability and importance across six seasons.
In all, he averaged 22.2 possessions a game, to go with three inside 50s; pretty impressive numbers for the 63rd selection at the Rookie Draft.