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Bryce Gibbs has penned an emotional farewell message to Carlton
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BRYCE Gibbs’ dad Ross says the family is ecstatic he is coming back to Adelaide as the star midfielder penned an emotional farewell to Carlton, saying he will always have “two homes”.

Gibbs was just 17 when he left Adelaide as the AFL’s No. 1 draft pick in 2006and 12 years later will finally return to his home state to play for the Crows who last week struck a trade with the Blues.

Ross Gibbs, who played 253 games and in two flags with Glenelg, told the Sunday Mail that Bryce’s family was thrilled he was coming home but there were mixed emotions.

“I guess there’s relief, happiness and some sadness,” Ross said. “He’s met some amazing people at Carlton but it’s exciting for the family and his partner Lauren’s family.

“He left for Melbourne when he was 17 and now he’s 28 and with a family, the dynamics change. They’ve got a little fella now and he’s a ripper, he’s a little Bryce clone. It’s his mum’s birthday today — it’s a great birthday present, she’s ecstatic and it’s great for his sisters as well.

Ross and Bryce Gibbs together in the lead up to the AFL draft.

“We’re very proud of him. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but I saw his interview the other day and to see him (choking up) that shows how much Carlton means to him.”

Earlier this month Gibbs became engaged to long-term partner Lauren, whose family is also in Adelaide.

They have a two-year-old son, Charlie, and Lauren has a long-standing role with the Tour Down Under every year.

Gibbs leaves Carlton after 231 games after asking for a trade home last year.

On Friday he took to Instagram to post an emotional farewell to Carlton and admitted he struggled to find the words to describe what the club meant to him.

For eleven years the Carlton Football Club has been my home. It's hard to put into words how much this club means to me and my family but I'll have a crack at it anyway. You have given me the opportunity to fulfill my boyhood dream, to play football at the highest level. I can’t thank you enough for all the the time and effort that has been invested in me to become the footballer I am today. More importantly though; helping to shape the person I am today. Carlton has been a huge positive influence on me on and off the field & for that I'll be forever grateful. I've met so many amazing people through this great Football Club. From players to support staff, medicos to high performance staff, coaches to footy department staff, sponsors to corporates and of course, members & fans. So many people I've met on my journey – some I'll have long lasting friendships with that will succeed my football career. I'll hold these friendships close to my heart and be forever grateful. To all the Blue Baggers who are members and fans, I'd like to thank you as well. Football Clubs can't survive without their members who are the corner stone to every club. It's been a rollercoaster ride over my journey and you have ridden every bump along the way with me. There has been some unbelievable highs we have shared; the cheer when I kicked my first goal in my first game and winning finals against Essendon & Richmond are memories I'll cherish forever. There has been some frustration at times but I know it's never personal. I understand how passionate you all are about your club, all you want is to see your players do well & for your team to have success. It does make me sad that I won't be around when that time comes but trust me..it's not that far away and you deserve it as much as anyone. I don't see myself heading home, I have two homes now. However, to get the opportunity to be closer to family and take up new challenges in football and life was one I had to take. Over 200 games and a life member, I will always be a Blue Bagger. I will always continue to follow and support the Carlton Football Club and wish everyone involved the very best in the future. Love you all, Gibba 💙

A post shared by Bryce Gibbs (@bgibbsy4) on

 

“You have given me the opportunity to fulfil my boyhood dream, to play football at the highest level. I can’t thank you enough for all the time and effort that has been invested in me to become the footballer I am today,” Gibbs wrote.

“More importantly, though, helping to shape the person I am today. Carlton has been a huge positive influence on me on and off the field and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride over my journey and you have ridden every bump along the way with me.

“There has been some unbelievable highs we have shared — the cheer when I kicked my first goal in my first game and winning finals against Essendon and Richmond are memories I’ll cherish forever.

“There has been some frustration at times but I know it’s never personal. I understand how passionate you all are about your club, all you want is to see your players do well and for your team to have success.

“It does make me sad that I won’t be around when that time comes but trust me it’s not that far away and you deserve it as much as anyone.

“I don’t see myself heading home, I have two homes now. However, to get the opportunity to be closer to family and take up new challenges in football and life was one I had to take.

“Over 200 games and a life member, I will always be a Blue Bagger. I will always continue to follow and support the Carlton Football Club and wish everyone involved the very best in the future.”

Gibbs became an Adelaide player at the 11th hour of trade week on Thursday when the Crows agreed to give Carlton Picks 10, 16 and 73 in this year’s draft and their second round pick next year.

In addition to Gibbs, Adelaide received Pick 77 this year and Carlton’s second and third round picks in next year’s draft.

Gibbs has agreed to a four-year deal with the Crows where he will add midfield depth and leadership to the beaten grand finalist.

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