Sport AFL Blues give Bryce Gibbs five-year deal

Blues give Bryce Gibbs five-year deal

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Carlton have secured upcoming free agent Bryce Gibbs with a five-year deal that will make the star midfielder a one-club AFL player.  

It is a massive boost for the Blues in the midst of a disappointing season.

The bumper deal, worth about $600,000 per year, ties the 25-year-old to Carlton until the end of 2019.

The two Adelaide clubs were ready to pounce if the richly talented midfielder decided he wanted to return to his home state.

But Gibbs said his preference was always to stay at Carlton.

“It is nice to finally get it done – it probably took a little bit more time than what the club and myself would have liked,” he said.

“But we all know we can’t rush these things and I’m just glad it’s done now.

“I was happy to sign for as long as possible, whether it was four or five years.

“I wanted to deal with Carlton and Carlton only.”

Gibbs’ negotiations with the Blues caused a stir earlier this year when it emerged he had his own wish list regarding the club’s future success and operations.

“It was probably blown out of proportion a little bit, that comment,” he said.

“It was part of negotiations between my manager and the club.”

Gibbs said he was confident about Carlton’s immediate future.

“There are just great people around the club,” he said.

“I know the players really wear their heart on their sleeve and I do believe his group can take the club where they want to go.

“That’s what I want to be a part of.”

Blues football operations manager Andrew McKay made no effort to hide his feelings about Gibbs’ deal.

It comes after the weekend’s upset loss to Greater Western Sydney.

The Blues have struggled for consistency and will miss the finals.

“It’s certainly good to have some good news, isn’t it, obviously after a week like we’ve had,” McKay said.

“It was a terrible loss to GWS – full credit to them.”

With captain Marc Murphy among several other re-signings, the obvious next step is the future of coach Mick Malthouse.

He is contracted to Carlton until the end of next season.

“I rate Mick really highly as a coach and he’s definitely taught me a lot in the short time he’s been here,” Gibbs said.

“So I certainly hope he can stick around.”

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