Boom Yarrawonga recruit Michael Gibbons will return to the Ovens and Murray Football League after almost a decade away.
The Border Mail revealed the former Carlton player had signed a three-year deal with the Pigeons on Friday afternoon.
It's extremely rare for a player to commit to such a long-term deal.
"I'm a loyal person, I was speaking to Yarrawonga and another club pretty seriously down here and the conversation was always once I sign, I can't see myself changing again anytime soon, that's the way I am," he revealed.
Originally from Coolamon in the Riverina, Gibbons moved to Albury for the last two years of his schooling at Xavier High School, starting 2012.
He played with Lavington, but once he completed school at the end of 2013, moved to Melbourne where he starred for VFL club Williamstown.
The on-baller won a premiership (2015), two club best and fairests and two league medals before Carlton picked him up, aged 23.
He played 47 games as a small forward before being delisted by the Blues in October.
He admitted at the time he was bitterly disappointed with the decision.
"I've always said if I got there and things didn't work out, I could sort of be happy with that, but it's a bit funny in the end, I'm unhappy with how it finished because I got there and proved that I could do it and do it better than most people expected, but I'll look back in years to come and see how nice of an achievement it was," he explained.
"I'm not bitter, I feel very unjust with the want it happened and, to be completely honest, I've still got some of my best mates at the Blues and they all went back to training a couple of weeks ago and there's a bit of jealousy there that I don't get to work with the lads.
"I had a bit of interest from a couple of clubs going into the (AFL) draft, so I was half-excited to continue the path, but I got a call on the morning of the draft and they said they weren't going to take me and I was happy with the honesty and just never heard from the other club so as soon as that happened, I had in the back of my mind I just wanted to go back and enjoy my footy.
"Unless a club came ringing tomorrow, I'm pretty content with where I'm at."
There's plenty of pundits, including Carlton fans, who believe Gibbons should still be in the AFL.
ALSO IN SPORT
Interestingly after three years as a small forward at the elite level, the 177cm, 75kg Riverina product still considers himself a better on-baller and the prospect of Gibbons joining brothers Willie and Harry Wheeler, fellow recruit Nick Fothergill and Pigeons' coach Mark Whiley in the midfield, is an exciting prospect not only for the club, but also the O and M.
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